(MILWAKUEE) Last April, the Wisconsin State Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 8, which proclaims April 24th, 2014 as Distracted Driving Awareness Day. The resolution, co-authored by Senator Lena C. Taylor (D-Milwaukee) and Senator Julie Lassa (D-Stevens Point), invites drivers across the state to be more mindful of their driving habits and the risks that those habits may present. Taylor hopes that the measure will help reduce future accidents and make Wisconsin’s roads and highways safer.
“In spite of existing state laws that discourage distracted driving, every year Wisconsin sees numerous fatalities caused by drivers who lose focus, even for a moment. Texting while driving especially has become a concern across the country, as studies have found that taking a few seconds to view a text is comparable to driving while blindfolded. Separate findings also show that talking on a cell phone while using a hands-free device increases the likelihood of an accident fourfold. On the whole, the numbers are staggering: over 3,000 deaths occurred as a result of distracted driving in 2012, while another 421,000 people were injured,” Taylor commented.
By bringing this issue to the forefront, Taylor hopes to draw attention to the potential long-term consequences of distracted driving. “You can’t argue with the statistics. They show that distracted drivers are hazardous to other drivers, pedestrians, and themselves. By raising awareness of the dangers of distracted driving, we hope to prevent this behavior and eliminate the inherent risks. You can help spread the message by tweeting #JustDrive and #DriveEngaged,” she says.
Distracted Driving Awareness Day urges drivers to remind themselves to keep their eyes on the road, thereby creating a safer driving environment. “We have a responsibility to our loved ones and our community to bring attention to this issue. Together, we can save lives. Looking at a text or a phone call may not seem dangerous, but let me tell you: it can wait,” Taylor adds.