April 2021 Press Release

Wood County Safe Communities announced today that there have been three fatal crashes, compared to two last year at this same time.

In an increasingly digital world, our attention is one of our most valuable resources. This April, spend your attention accordingly. Be more attentive in your daily activities, especially while you drive. Combat digital dependence by being attentive without your phone, both in and out of the vehicle. 8 people in the United States are killed each day by a distracted driver. While driving, stay focused and aware on the road and what is happening around you. If we have learned anything from 2020 it is that technology can also be a drain on our mental health, so put down the phone and pay attention to the amazing things around you. Try new things and spend screen-free time with your family and friends.

So, why do so many people participate in this dangerous behavior?  With more technology now than ever, driver distractions have risen to unprecedented levels.  We live in a world where people expect instant, real-time information 24 hours a day, and those expectations don’t stop just because someone gets behind the wheel.  Drivers still do not realize – or choose to ignore – the danger they create when they take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, and their focus off driving.

People often say, “I can do two things at once.  I’ve memorized where the numbers are on my phone, so I don’t have to look.” Or, “Sending or reading one text is pretty quick – that should be okay.”  They couldn’t be more wrong.

For those who think they can do two things at once, think about this: According to a 2014 special article in the New England Journal of Medicine, the risk of a crash or near-crash among novice drivers increased with the performance of many secondary tasks, including texting and dialing cell phones. Driving is an activity that requires your full attention and focus in order to keep yourself and others safe.
  
Yes, this is a national problem, but it also affects us in Wood County  No one is immune from the dangers of distracted driving. During this month of DISTRACTED DRIVING AWARENESS make a conscious effort to put away your phone while in the car.  Drive without distractions, don’t be a distraction as a passenger, and always pay 100% attention when in a vehicle.  So please remember:  One Text or Call Could Wreck It All#itcanwait
 
For More Information:
Lt. Robert J. Ashenfelter, Ohio State Highway Patrol: 419-352-2481
Sandy Wiechman, Safe Communities Coordinator: 419-372-9353 or swiechm@bgsu.edu