WXYZ Editorial: Distracted driving on the rise in Michigan but doesn't have to be

States take action to stop distracted driving
Posted at 7:54 PM, May 09, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-09 19:54:47-04

WXYZ DETROIT — Spring is a celebratory season! High school and college graduates are awarded diplomas and degrees for their many years of academic hard work and success. The future is bright for these young men and women. But irresponsible celebration, careless drinking and distracted driving can instantly turn big dreams into nightmares for teenagers and adults.

Across America, at least 9 people die each day because of distracted driving. Here in Michigan, from 2016 to 2017, our state experienced a 57-percent increase in distracted driving and a 67-percent spike in fatalities due to those crashes. We must combat these dismal statistics of drivers not paying attention on the road.

Back in 2010, Michigan passed laws banning texting while driving. But the problem is growing. So now, new bills have been introduced in the State House and Senate by Democrats and Republicans that would only allow hands-free driving, ban reading or sending e-mails while driving, and increase penalties for texting behind the wheel.

It’s important to remember that there are three main types of distraction driving. Taking your eyes off the road. Taking your hands off the wheel. And taking your mind off the task at hand.

Using sensible judgment and always remembering that you’re steering a powerful machine, is extremely important.

So as the weather gets better and celebrations kick into gear have intentional conversations with your teenagers and young adults about the best way to keep their eyes on the road. Safe driving saves lives and helps to turn lifelong dreams into pleasant realities.

I’m Mike Murri, V.P. & General Manager
Broadcast: May 9 - 12, 2019