It is common knowledge nowadays that distracted driving is an epidemic. The Washington Traffic Safety Commission reported that distracted driving causes roughly 30 percent of deadly crashes. And it has quickly become the number one cause of traffic accidents, putting more motorists in danger of sustaining severe injuries.
In response to this epidemic, Washington police are multiplying the number of patrols on the roads.
Committed to stopping E-DUIs
The crackdown on distracted driving has been in effect since 2017 when Washington passed the Driving Under the Influence of Electronics Act. The act prohibits drivers from engaging in any distractions behind the wheel, even at a stoplight.
It also increased the penalties for distracted driving, and not only for cellphone use. Patrols are also taking measures to ticket drivers who eat, do their makeup or even change the radio station behind the wheel. Unfortunately, the rate of distracted driving keeps rising, regardless of the risks of an E-DUI charge.
Many reports have said that distracted driving is as dangerous as drunk driving. So, patrols are aiming to eliminate those dangers.
Distracted driving is high around Seattle
The state patrol chose now to take extra measures against distracted driving for two reasons:
- The weather: Generally, motorists tend to drive faster when the weather gets warmer. The combination of speeding and distracted driving can be even more dangerous than distracted driving alone.
- Too many distracted drivers: A recent study ranked the greater Seattle area with one of the highest rates of distracted driving in the state. That rank could be the result of tourists who are not familiar with the area. Even so, local drivers are not off the hook either.
When distracted driving decreases, so do injuries
The goal of this exercise is simple. Stopping distracted drivers could save lives. And vigilant patrols plus strict penalties might be the key to doing precisely that.
Apprehending drivers who are distracted behind the wheel now could deter them in the future. If this latest effort has successful results, the Seattle area might secure a lower rate of distracted driving, as well as reduce severe and fatal traffic crashes.