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Thursday, April 3, 2014

It's Distracted Driving Month. Don't Read This While You're Driving.

Posted By on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 7:27 AM

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Distracted driving is so problematic that the transportation people of America have dedicated an entire month to drill it into your brain that driving while doing anything else but driving is beyond dumb.

You know who you are.

Starting two days ago, San Francisco traffic cops have started zeroing in on drivers who are texting, brushing their teeth, drinking coffee, etc. while driving. So consider this your only warning.

See Also: Bay Area Guy Starts Website That Shames Drivers Who Are Texting

"Motorists are reminded to put your mobile phone down and pay attention to the roadway and not be a distracted driver. Distracted drivers will be greeted by San Francisco Police officers who remain committed to the mission of this campaign," said San Francisco Police Commander Mikail Ali.

The whole purpose is to reduce the number of deaths that occur due to distracted driving. Police were kind enough to define "distracted driving" for you:

  • Texting

  • Using a cell phone or smartphone

  • Eating and drinking

  • Talking to passengers

  • Grooming

  • Reading, including maps

  • Using a navigation system

  • Watching a video

  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

This wasn't mentioned, but we'll go ahead and say taking selfies while driving is a no-no.

Some other important facts that may not surprise you:

  • The number of people killed in distraction-related crashes decreased slightly from 3,360 in 2011 to 3,328 in 2012. Still, an estimated 421,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, this was a nine percent increase from the estimated 387,000 people injured in 2011.

  • At any given moment across America, some 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or electronic devices while behind the wheel, a number that has held steady since 2010.

  • Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55 mph, that's enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.

Now watch this:

And if that's still not sinking in, perhaps spotting yourself on a billboard will.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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