Don’t be distracted while behind the wheel

Published 5:38 pm Saturday, July 16, 2016

Distracted driving has become a major worldwide problem and it isn’t going away anytime soon. According to Distraction.gov, the official United States government website for distracted driving, 3,179 people were killed and 431,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers during the year 2014.

The problem is during today’s technology age, there’s always something else happening in the car. Whether that means our cell phones are ringing — or vibrating for a text message — or our favorite song is on the radio, we all-too-often lose focus at the wheel.

Think about it. People eat, get ready for work, punch their destination into a GPS or get distracted by passengers in the car while driving.

Driving a car can be dangerous enough that it should always be our focus when behind the wheel.

Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old that were involved in fatal crashes were distracted as the time of the crash, according to Distraction.gov. Not surprisingly, that’s the highest of any age group.

The nation’s latest craze, “Pokemon Go”, has people driving and walking around looking for the pocket monsters, which appear all over the world. While we like that the game gets people out of the house and encourages exercise, we hope those playing it — many in that 15 to 19 age group — put the phone down while at the wheel.

Pokemon, a phone call and text messages can wait until you get to your final destination. If it’s that important, pull over and finish what you need before you get back on the road.

It’s better to do that than to end up in a wreck or cause a wreck that could severely impact someone else’s life.