Henrico Police Chief: “Pledge not to become a distracted driver.”
In Henrico County, as well as across the Commonwealth and the nation, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car crashes. While the main causes for distracted driving are cell phone usage and texting, many other activities fall under distracted driving. You may not think you are driving distracted while eating and drinking; fiddling with the car radio or CD player; or looking at GPS devices, but anything that takes your eyes off the roadway for more than a few seconds can be deadly. It takes an average time of 4.6 seconds for drivers to send or receive a text, which causes them to take their eyes off the road during that time. If you were traveling at 55 mile per hour while texting, your vehicle would travel the length of a football field – 360 feet – during that text. Imagine what could happen as you travel that distance. You don’t have to imagine. I can tell you several true stories that occurred in Henrico County because of distracted driving. A young Henrico teen driver, driving with his learner’s permit was operating a vehicle and approaching a stop sign. While he was looking at the GPS program on his cell phone, he went through the stop sign without stopping. Another vehicle ran into his vehicle causing property damage and injury. Another Henrico teen driver was sending a reply to Twitter as he approached an intersection with a traffic signal. This teen never saw the red light and continued into the intersection striking two vehicles that were crossing his direction of travel. Three vehicles had property damage and injuries. The last example is about a young Henrico woman who was texting and struck the back end of another vehicle. Even though she admitted to texting, she also gave false information to law enforcement officers and received felony charges related to this case. So when you take to the roads, remember to make driving your only priority. Be focused on the road, traffic conditions, traffic signs and lights, and other drivers. These should be the only things that have your attention while you are driving. Drive safely and pledge not to become a distracted driver.