We all do it.
Whenever we hear that familiar ding or feel that unmistakable buzz, we reach for the cell phone.
Mobile phones have become life lines.
And for many of us, text messages have become our primary means of communication.
But, state officials warn that no matter what, no text message should be sent or received while you are behind the wheel.
The Michigan Office of Highway Safety Planning said Distracted Driving causes 25 percent of all traffic fatalities.
Ishpeming Police Chief Steve Snowaert said more and more drivers seem distracted.
“Obviously with cellphones and texting, there are specific laws that say you can’t text and drive. The hazards are that you are being distracted from driving which has caused accidents,” said Chief Snowaert. “But there are other types of distractions too that we all know about. Specifically anytime you take your eyes off the road whether it to be talk with a passenger or eat or do anything in a motor vehicle. You are at risk of an accident.”
Drivers who are pulled over for distracted driving face a civil infraction meaning the first time caught, they will pay $100.
The price goes up to $200 for anyone caught a second time.
Chief Snowaert suggested some best practice to eliminate distracted driving.
“We all hear the phone going off and we feel that there is a need to answer right away. My suggestion would be to turn it off so you’re not hearing that. When you are in a place that is safe and stopped, check your phone. But if you don’t have that distraction of your phone beeping at you every couple of minutes, then you don’t notice it. My suggestion is to shut it off so you don’t think you’re missing out on the world.”
The MOHS are asking drivers should keep their hands on the wheel, their eyes on the road and their mind on the drive.
So the next you’re behind the wheel and your phone goes off, pull over before pulling out your cell phone. It could save a life. \