Dangers of distracted driving

Every time you drive, you are legally and morally responsible for safely operating a potentially destructive - and even deadly - force. Any lapse in attention to traffic or road conditions is a grave danger to you, your passengers and everyone else on the road.

In an attempt to save time by multitasking behind the wheel, drivers may choose to eat a meal, search for items in the glove box, use a cell phone, or comb their hair while staring in the rear view mirror. Their attention is focused everywhere except where it should be - on the road.

"Leave your phone alone until you get home," is the message of the new public service announcement hitting the airwaves throughout Wisconsin. It was scripted, filmed and produced by middle school students from Indian Community School as part of the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Inter-Tribal Task Force One Day Media Camp.

The message takes on additional importance for young people amid the "100 deadliest" days between Memorial Day and Labor Day when crashes involving teenage drivers increase. Over the past five years statewide records indicate that teenage drivers are behind the wheel for roughly 13 distracted driving crashes every day statewide during the months of June, July and August. The video can be viewed below.

 

State law bans texting while driving

Texting with a cell phone while driving recently has become a more prevalent and dangerous form of distracted driving because it diverts a driver's eyes, hands, and mind - for a significant amount of time - from the safe operation of the vehicle.

Wisconsin state law now forbids driving "any motor vehicle while composing or sending an electronic text message or an electronic mail message." Wisconsin's texting ban is a primary enforcement law, which means law enforcement officers may stop motorists suspected of this offense alone.

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