Texting only one distraction behind the wheel

Texting and driving image by MGN.

Dangerous distractions behind the wheel include anything that takes your eyes off the road or your mind off what you're doing.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (DHSMV) is working with other state agencies to remind drivers to stay focused.

Statewide in 2017, 50,000 crashes -- nearly a thousand per week -- involved distracted driving.

Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol says, “Focused attention on driving increases your reaction time to dangerous driving situations, helps to prevent crashes, and saves lives.”

Texting is one of the most dangerous driver distractions because it takes your eyes off the road, at least one hand off the wheel, and turns your mind to something other than driving. Other dangerous distractions include putting on makeup, tending to children in the back seat, eating, tuning the radio, checking GPS navigation, and even daydreaming.

“Texting while driving, along with other distractions, has resulted in tragic heartache for far too many families we proudly serve,” said Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson, President of the Florida Sheriffs Association.

Amy Mercer, Executive Director of the Florida Police Chiefs Association, FPCA, says “Distracted driving is 100% preventable, but too many choose not to focus on the road ahead. Today, I urge drivers across the state to put safety first and help protect Florida’s roads from danger.”

The Florida Highway Patrol (FHP), a division of the DHSMV, is partnering with the Florida Department of Transportation, Florida Police Chiefs Association, Florida Sheriffs Association and AAA to promote April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

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