Message during Distracted Driving Month is ‘Just Drive’

In 2015, at least 36 were killed in Arizona because of distracted driving

PHOENIX – Drive. Just drive.

That’s the message the Arizona Department of Transportation is sending to those behind the wheel during National Distracted Driving Month.

Distracted driving kills thousands and injures hundreds of thousands in the United States each year. In 2015, at least 36 people were killed on Arizona roadways because of distracted driving. Those numbers are too high. Bringing them down is simple.

Just drive.

Keep your eyes on the road, hands on the wheel and mind engaged with driving. After all, your life is in your hands, so keep them free of distractions.

“Think about the last time you shook you head in wonder about a distracted driver killing or maiming innocent people because of the driver’s crazy-stupid behavior,” ADOT Director John Halikowski said. “Please don’t be one of those people standing in front of the judge, facing prison and apologizing to a broken family about how you wish you could take it all back. Just drive and be part of the solution to bring the fatality numbers down.”

Distracted driving comes in many forms: eating a fast-food burger, applying mascara, smartphone use, toggling through a navigation system, twisting your neck toward the backseat to break up a sibling squabble and more. Yet, none of these activities are a driver’s primary responsibility as the operator of a one-ton, two-ton or heavier vehicle and each distraction makes a driver up to four times more likely to be involved in a crash, according to research cited by the Federal Highway Administration.

Just drive.

In 2015, nearly 8,000 distracted drivers were involved in crashes on Arizona roadways, according to preliminary data collected by ADOT. The data shows that young drivers (ages 16-24) engage in distracted driving at higher rates than older drivers, accounting for a third of all drivers engaging in distracting behavior that caused a crash.

Those startling and unnecessarily high numbers tell us one thing.

Drive. Just drive.