Drive to Zero Coalition and KDOT Remind Drivers April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

By Trish Svoboda

The Drive To Zero Coalition and the Kansas Department of Transportation (KDOT) are advocating for drivers to prioritize safety and eliminate distractions, given that lack of attention is the primary factor in vehicular accidents. Early data from 2023 indicates that distracted driving resulted in 102 fatalities and over 450 injuries in Kansas.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This month is dedicated to heightening awareness and educating drivers to enhance road safety. Throughout this month, motorists in Kansas will be exposed to an increased number of safety messages regarding distracted driving. Enhanced law enforcement presence will serve as a reminder that any form of distraction, including texting while driving, is not only unsafe and unnecessary but also against the law.

“Distracted driving for any reason is dangerous and puts others at risk,” said Gary Herman, KDOT Behavior Safety Manager. “As soon as your eyes leave the road and your hands leave the steering wheel, focus on driving is gone. This results in no time to safely react to traffic hazards.”

Herman identified distractions as activities such as eating, drinking, attending to a child in the backseat, and texting. Studies by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration indicate that drivers aged 18-34 are the most prone to distractions, primarily due to cell phone usage. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety also reveals that mental distractions can last for up to 27 seconds after using voice commands in vehicles, changing music, or using phones.

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