In an effort to make our roads safer, The Laguna Beach Police Department is deploying extra traffic enforcement officers on June 12, 2016, to stop distracted driving. Laguna PD is spreading the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road.
Using an electronic device while driving is a serious safety problem. Most drivers know that texting while driving is a dangerous behavior, but many still use their cell phones and other mobile devices when they are behind the wheel, putting themselves and others at risk. Many drivers see distracted driving as risky when other drivers do it, but do not recognize how their own driving deteriorates.
In 2013, there were 3,154 people killed and an estimated 424,000 injured nationwide in crashes involving a distracted driver. That same year, 10 percent of fatal crashes were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive. In addition, most drivers aren’t aware that just talking on a cell phone, handheld or hands-free, can lead to “inattention blindness” as critical brain functions needed for driving are used for cell phone talking.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. For more information about distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov.