The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

April 1, 2013

Eyes on road, not phone, for Distracted Driver Awareness Month

By Robert Stoneback
The Danville News

DANVILLE — April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, making it the perfect time for drivers to keep their eyes on the road and off their cell phones.

“Distracted driving causes a great majority of accidents,” said Eric Gill, chief of the Danville Borough Police Department. The most common crashes in this area occur at intersections, and are usually the result of one driver not paying attention to a stop light or sign, he said.

“Distracted driving in my opinion incorporates a lot of things including texting, talking on phones, doing things that really shouldn’t be done while driving,” he said. Other examples Gill has seen include people reading while driving or parents turning around to calm children in the back seat. “We encourage people instructing kids to make sure they’re looking very far ahead to see what objects might be a problem as they drive,” said Gill.

According to statistics from the National Safety Council, at any given moment there are more drivers using cell phones than being distracted by any other activity. About nine percent of all drivers are talking on their cell phones at any given moment during daylight, according to the National Traffic Highway Safety Administration.

The AAA Foundation 2011 Traffic Safety Culture Index states that two out of three drivers reported talking on their cell phone while driving in the past month and nearly one in three said they do so regularly or fairly often.

At the National Safety Council’s website, www.nsc.org, visitors can take a pledge to drive cell phone free, in addition to finding other information on distracted driving.

Email questions or comments to rstoneback@thedanvillenews.com.