Wednesday, November 5, 2014

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

Meridian Township Police often conduct undercover surveillance targeting distracted drivers.  We use unmarked cars with officers in plain clothes to watch the streets and notify officers in fully marked cars of distracted drivers.  We have seen a lot of success and are proud to say the roadways are safer as a result of our efforts. Here is a news story from WILX that documents our success.

Some have said Distracted Driving is more dangerous than Operating While Intoxicated.  Please check the facts and tips listed below to keep you and your loved ones safe on the road.

-Driver inattention is the leading factor in most crashes and near-crashes, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and Virginia Tech Transportation Institute.
-Driving is a visual task and non-driving activities that draw the driver's eyes away from the roadway should always be avoided.
-As of July 1, 2010, Michigan law prohibits texting while driving.  For a first offense, motorists are fined $100.  Subsequent offenses cost $200.  However, in Ingham County the fines have been set at $225 for first offense!

There are three main types of distraction:

Distracting activities include:
  • Using a cell phone and/or texting
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a PDA or navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Changing the radio station, CD, or MP3 player.

Focus on the task at hand - driving:
  • Get familiar with vehicle features and equipment before pulling out into traffic.
  • Preset radio stations, MP3 devices, and climate control.
  • Secure items that may move around when the car is in motion. Do not reach down or behind the seat to pick up items.
  • Do not text, access the Internet, watch videos, play video games, search MP3 devices, or use any other distracting technology while driving.
  • Avoid smoking, eating, drinking, and reading while driving.
  • Pull safely off the road and out of traffic to deal with children.
  • Do personal grooming at home-not in the vehicle.
  • Review maps and driving directions before hitting the road.
  • Monitor traffic conditions before engaging in activities that could divert attention away from driving.
  • Ask a passenger to help with activities that may be distracting.
  • If driving long distances, schedule regular stops, every 100 miles or two hours.
  • Travel at times when you are normally awake and stay overnight rather than driving straight through.
  • Avoid alcohol and medications that may make you drowsy.

Do you recognize this woman?

**********************************UPDATE*************************************** With the help of citizens who responded to this post we h...