Public Safety Announcement
For immediate release
April 23, 2019
The Annapolis Fire Department
wants you to "Stay Alive, Don't Text and Drive."
(Annapolis, MD) One of the most common distractions is the use of cell phones while driving. Once upon a time no matter how important a message was, you had to wait until you arrived somewhere that had a phone to respond. Now, peopleyoung and old answer those same messages by texting while driving. Annapolis Fire Chief David L. Stokes, Sr. says, “If you are driving without a hands-free device and must answer the phone, pull off the road and stop at a safe area.”
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts your attention away from driving; including talking or texting on your phone, eating and drinking, fiddling with the stereo, entertainment, or navigation system. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for at least 5 seconds. Texting for 5 seconds at 55 miles per hour is like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing.
According to a report from the United States Department of Transportation for 2017 driving fatalities:
3,166 fatalities occurred as a result of distracted driving.
297 people died in crashes that involved distracted teen (15 to 19 years of age) drivers.
229 teens (15 to 19) were killed in distraction-affected crashes.
271 teens (15 to 19) drivers involved in fatal crashes were distracted.
Statistics show that 15-19 year olds are the largest portion of drivers of any age group having distracted drivinginvolved crashes. Parents and care givers need to acknowledge they are significant role models and their teens observe their driving habits. Parents should emphasize the dangers of texting and driving, as well as lead by example. Driving should be your main focus when you are behind the wheel of a car.
The Annapolis Fire Department wants all drivers to be reminded of the dangers of texting while driving so you, your family and others remain safe on the road.