COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) — Troopers from six states, including West Virginia, are targeting distracted drivers in the latest of a series of highway enforcement efforts.
The 6-State Trooper Project brings together officers from the State Highway Patrol in Ohio and state police in Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.
The Ohio patrol’s superintendent, Paul Pride, says too many motorists fail to consider the potential consequences of distracted driving.
The distracted driving project began Sunday and runs through Saturday, July 25. An effort earlier this year focused on proper seat belt and child safety seat use.
The project brings troopers together on issues of highway safety, criminal patrol and intelligence-sharing.
According to The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, in 2013 in the U.S. the fatal crash rate per mile driven for 16- to 19- year-olds was nearly three times the rate for drivers ages 20 and older. Risk is highest at ages 16 and 17. In fact, the fatal crash rate per mile driven is nearly twice as high for 16- and 17- year-olds as it is for 18 and 19 year-olds.
In 2013, 3,154 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. This represents a 6.7 percent decrease in the number of fatalities recorded in 2012. Unfortunately, approximately 424,000 people were injured, which is an increase from the 421,000 people who were injured in 2012.
Ten percent of drivers of all ages under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
Five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. When traveling at 55mph, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded.