Fatal facts to know about distracted drivers

According to the National Safety Council, thousands die needlessly each year because people continue to use their cell phones while driving. With the number of people dying in crashes involving a distracted driver on the rise, safety officials are determined to educate people on the dangers of distracted driving.

By Police Chief Ruben Santiago
Directorate of Emergency Services
USAG Stuttgart

Today, an average of eight people will die in the U.S. and 1,161 will be injured in crashes that involve a distracted driver.

More than 160 billion text messages were sent in the U.S, including Puerto Rico, Guam and 14 more territories, every month during 2018. Drivers in their 20s make up 27 percent of the distracted drivers in fatal crashes. Drivers engaging in visual-manual subtasks associated with the use of hand-held phones and other portable devices, such as reaching for a phone, dialing and texting, are three times more likely to be involved in a vehicle crash than non-distracted drivers;  47 percent of all adults who text say they have sent or read messages behind the wheel.

April is Distracted Drivers Awareness Month, and the USAG Stuttgart Provost Marshal’s Office will participate in the annual distracted driver’s awareness campaign in an effort to help educate and safeguard the Stuttgart military community. Throughout April, the Military Police will conduct operations on all installations to address violators of Army Regulation 385-10, para. 4-E, about cellphone use while driving.

Help keep our community safe by adhering to the rules and regulations and reporting to the MPs by calling–but not while driving–07031-15-3102, or use the Garrison App button “REPORT TO MP.” Do not let “SMH” be your last words.

Army Regulation 385-10, para. 4-E
“Vehicle operators on DOD installations and operator of Government owned vehicles, on or off the installation, will not use cellular phones or other hand-held electronic devices unless the vehicle is safely pared or they are using a hands-free device.  Government-supplied electronic equipment that may be used for text messaging or other hand-held uses is prohibited for use by DOD personnel while driving any vehicle, whether or not on official Government business.  The only exceptions to this prohibition are emergency responders (such as military police, ambulance, fire emergency, EOD and HAZMAT responders) while in the performance of their official duties.”

(Note: Stats provided by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.)