The state of Washington is not immune to distracted drivers causing accidents in cities across the state. The proliferation of cell phones, in-vehicle technologies and non-driving tasks all contribute to distracted driving. Distracted drivers affect more than their immediate surroundings.

The Washington Traffic Safety Commission states that distracted driving causes 30% of all crash fatalities in the state. Talking on the phone increases the chance of a crash threefold. Nearly three-fourths of drivers are on their phones while driving. State law prohibits drivers from being on their phones while driving unless they can use a hands-free device or are calling emergency services.

In response to the staggering numbers, the state has initiated a variety of initiatives addressing some key concerns. Work zones are already dangerous but made more so by distracted drivers. Increasing work zone awareness along with educating drivers on the latest traffic research are core programs enacted by the state.

The National Safety Council has declared April 2020 as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving results in 100 injuries and a minimum of 9 fatalities each day. Beyond cell phones, the NSC considers all the in-vehicle technologies as distractions for drivers.

These items take the driver’s focus off of the road and onto something else. Even voice commands can distract a driver from something on the road causing devastating consequences for them and others. The ripple effects extend beyond the road affecting workplaces, homes and communities.

The NSC provides additional information to help combat distracted driving for commuters and businesses. Choose instead to ignore the distractions while driving.