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Distracted driving has without a doubt become one of the most serious public safety concerns of our time and is even ranked as the leading cause of auto fatalities in some states. For that reason, many states are testing initiatives to cut down rates of distracted driving through strengthening penalties or making laws much stricter when it comes to phone use in the car. Louisiana has now joined the list of states attempting to crack down on distracted driving through a new series of public service announcements designed to educate drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. Are PSAs enough?
To spread awareness of the ever-present danger of distracted driving, the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development recently posted a PSA video to their Facebook page demonstrating the utter recklessness of using or checking your phone even for just a second or two. The video already has over 15,000 views as of this week.
According to the video, a car travelling at 70 mph will travel more than 500 feet in the average time it takes a driver to check their phone for messages; couple that with the average reaction time it takes to adjust to new traffic conditions, and a distracted driver could easily miss 800 feet of road in front of him, far more than enough distance for unexpected road or traffic conditions to occur.
The Louisiana State Police estimate that more than 75% of accidents occurring on I-10 between Lafayette and Baton Rouge are caused by distracted drivers. I-10 is one of the busiest highways in the state and is frequently under construction, meaning drivers need to pay extra attention to their surroundings – as opposed to their phones.
Remember: if you still use your phone while behind the wheel, you’ve got nobody to blame but yourself when you finally cause an accident. Whatever it is, it can wait.