Casper Police Department reminds drivers of the danger of distracted driving

Vehicles commuting on Interstate 25 in Casper
Vehicles commuting on Interstate 25 in Casper(Haley Roedder)
Published: Oct. 21, 2021 at 6:55 PM CDT
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CASPER, Wyo. (Wyoming News Now) - October 17th-23rd is National Teen Driver Safety Week. The Casper Police Department is informing teenagers about what they should know regarding distracted driving.

Distracted driving is one of the leading causes of traffic crashes in the United States. According to the Wyoming Department of Transportation, 877 traffic crashes in 2019 were due to distracted driving. Cell phone usage was the cause of 188 of those accidents.

“I mean, a lot of it is the phone. You know, what we are paying attention to with the YouTube nowadays and all this social media, you know, people are watching while they’re going down. You know, you’re distracted, you’re thinking about other things. You know you need to pay attention to the road and look at your surroundings,” said Mike Ogden, a Casper Police Department sergeant.

Sending or reading a text can cause you to take your eyes off the road and your surroundings for approximately five seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that’s driving the length of a football field.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration distracted driving took the lives of 3,142 people in 2019. Distracted driving is more than just using your cell phone. It can include eating and drinking, talking to friends in your vehicle, or changing the radio station.

According to WYDOT, in 2019, 386 crashes were due to distractions from others in the vehicle, 256 caused by distractions outside the vehicle, and 47 from using other electronics.

“The majority of traffic accidents are actually all human error. It’s not due to vehicles, it’s not due to wind or ice, it’s due to human error and a lot of that is maybe reaching down to grab that soda or maybe reach down to grab a french fry while they’re driving or check that text message so it’s just important to just wait,” said Ogden.

The Casper Police Department reminds residents to put your distractions down and always keep your eyes on the road.

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