Norfolk State University Newsroom  


  NSU Police Department Warns of Distracted
  Driving Dangers

  April Designated as Distracted Driving Awareness Month

The NSU Police Department is joining DRIVE SMART Virginia in support of April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The Department is asking all drivers to avoid any distraction while driving.

“Many of us don’t like to admit it, but we’re often distracted when we are driving. Whether it’s your phone or kids or drinking a cup of coffee on the way to work, anytime your eyes are off the road you increase your chance for a crash,” said NSU Police Chief Anthony H. Walker “Distracted driving has really turned into a serious problem.”

In 2012, statistics show that 80 percent of crashes and 65 percent of near crashes were caused by distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

When you buckle up, put the phone down. Walker points out that many drivers think it is alright to send a quick text or read an email while waiting at a stoplight because it only takes a few seconds. But he warns that an average text takes nearly five seconds and that your eyes are off the road for the entire length of a football field.

In addition, the highway traffic administration found that drivers who are talking on their phones are 18 percent slower to take action when seeing brake lights; drivers who are making a phone call are four times more likely to get into a crash, while those who are texting and driving have a risk of crashing that is 23 times greater than driving while not distracted.

To drive smart, minimize distractions by turning off your phone or downloading an app that will read emails and text messages while you’re driving; presetting your GPS before leaving home; eating and drinking at home, at work or at a restaurant; and avoiding turning around to tend to children as much as possible.

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