Michigan State Police Brighton Post: Patrols ready to crack down on texting and driving

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

DETROIT – April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the Michigan State Police Brighton Post is ready to bust you for texting and driving.

This release was issued on Thursday:

Would you run 102 feet with your eyes closed? Would you ride a bicycle 102 feet with your eyes closed?  Of course not - something may get in your way, you could trip or hit something! You could get hurt, break a bone, or get scraped up.  It makes no sense to do something like this.  

Yet, believe it or not, people do it every day. They do it while traveling in their vehicles. They do it at speeds of 70 miles per hour plus. Think about it - every time you look at your phone or get distracted in a vehicle and take your eyes off the road, even for just two seconds, you have traveled 102 feet.  Imagine now it is four seconds or five, or six. The distance grows.

Would you ever travel 306 feet without looking to see where you were going?

April is Distracted Driving Awareness month, and all month long the Michigan State Police Brighton Post will have patrols looking specifically for people texting and driving carelessly.  The national “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” high-visibility enforcement campaign has two goals: conduct enforcement of anti-texting law and advertise these efforts with media and social media outreach to make drivers aware of the enforcement and encourage people to obey the law.  

Texting while driving is especially dangerous because it involves three main types of distraction:

  • Visual: Taking your eyes off the road
  • Manual: Taking your hands off the wheel
  • Cognitive: Taking your mind off the task of driving

Michigan’s texting law prohibits drivers from reading, manually typing or sending a text message while driving.  Violating the texting law may be costly.  Drivers convicted of a first offense may be fined $100.00, with subsequent offenses of $200.00.

Distracted driving statistics paint a grim picture:  In 2016, an estimated 3450 people were killed nationwide in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, according to the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration.  Distracted driving crashes made up 9.2 percent of all fatal crashes in 2016.  

In Michigan, distracted driving accounted for 12,788 crashes in 2016.  Those crashes resulted in 43 fatalities and 5,103 injuries, according to the Michigan State Criminal Police Criminal Justice Information Center.  Also, according to a 2014 article in the New England Journal and Medicine, the risk of a crash or near-crash among novice drivers increased with the performance of many secondary tasks, including texting and using cell phones.

Remember, “YOLO” one “LOL” or “SMH” could change your life “4EVER”

About the Authors:

Ken Haddad is the digital content and audience manager for WDIV / ClickOnDetroit.com. He also authors the Morning Report Newsletter and various other newsletters. He's been with WDIV since 2013. He enjoys suffering through Lions games on Sundays in the fall.