AAA: Distracted Driving an Increasing Problem

Posted April 04, 2018

It's National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and officials in the community want you to drive safe. "There's no standardized field sobriety test for distracted driving", said Deputy DMV Commissioner George Bishop.

The distracted driving numbers in the state of Tennessee vary, but Knox County hovers around 1,000 distracted driver traffic crashes per year according to the Tennessee Department of Safety and Homeland Security. Experts say increasing use of cellphones, texting, and complex vehicle "infotainment" systems are some of the factors linked to distracted driving. He pulled over a driver in Bluefield during his cell phone patrol. However, AAA Foundation research says it's much higher, particularly among teen drivers. According to the latest statistics from Texas Department of Transportation, the number of crashes caused by distracted driving increased by 3.2 percent. Distracted drivers will be stopped and cited, with fines set at $162 for first-time offenders.

"Don't Drive Intoxicated - Don't Drive Intexticated" is the theme of AAA's traffic safety education campaign created to make distracted driving socially unacceptable.

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"Anything that takes your eyes off the road, hand off the wheel, or mind off driving is a distraction".

"No one is a NASCAR driver that I know of so always be ready, be on the lookout and bob and weave when you can", said Carmichael. As National Distracted Driving Awareness Month begins, AAA East Central is launching a new, multi-year initiative that aims to reduce deaths and injuries as a result of cell phone use by drivers.

"Sending a text message is a quick and easy way to communicate", FTPD Chief Richard A. Grammar said.

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"Our roads can be a risky place, which means we all have to take great care", she said.

Consistent with previous years, 85 percent of survey respondents said it is extremely risky to use smartphones or tablets while driving, yet almost a quarter of respondents said they do it. "The Travelers Risk Index highlights that drivers are categorizing distraction as "someone else's problem" when they are the ones who are actually engaging in highly risky behavior".

In 2018 we have technologically advanced cars with motion sensors and GPS systems to help us navigate, yet distracted driving crashes continue to be on the rise.

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