Distracted driving awareness is important for all drivers, especially seniors

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and seniors represent the fastest growing segment of drivers.

If you’re driving and your cell phone rings, do you answer the call?

“I try to not, you know. I look to see who it’s from and if it’s important, I’ll pull over,” said Waikiki resident Mike Amsbury.

“I usually just set it on the seat and keep it on vibrate then I don’t hear it,” said Kailua resident Sam Galeotos. “I think everybody is tempted.”

But ignoring that call or incoming text while driving can be difficult to do, and satisfying that temptation could change your life forever.

“Any time you’re distracted, your attention is taken away from the road, is a bad thing and anything can happen,” Galeotos said. “You can’t react fast enough and so whatever you’re doing, whether it’s texting or smoking or whatever, is a bad thing.”

One out of 10 fatal crashes is the result of driver distraction.

With the exception of teenagers, seniors have the highest crash death rate per mile driven. When you consider that quarter of all drivers will be over 65 by the year 2025, now is the time to educate.

“It’s about not only about keeping yourself safe, but keeping other people safe and anything can happen,” Galeotos said. “I’m sure that everybody has had the experience where you’ve gone to react to your phone and then you’ve looked up and said, wow I’m never going to do that again.”

“I think you’re more distracted on the phone though because you’re trying to visualize,” Amsbury said.

The message is simple: “Just watch the news and see what happens,” Amsbury said. “It’s like every other day there’s a crash because of it. You just got to learn from what you observe, I guess. There’s a reason why there’s an awareness month.”

It’s important to understand the dangers of distracted driving, because it could save your life.

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