A new campaign is encouraging drivers to put down their phones and stop streaming while driving.
“We definitely underestimate how dangerous driving is,” said Trooper Chad Crittenden with the Kansas Highway Patrol.
More than 37,400 people died on roads in the United States in 2016, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“That’s tough to swallow. That’s a lot of our towns in Kansas that we would be wiping out in one time in these automobile crashes. Unfortunately, it shouldn’t be an acceptable number, but it is because it doesn’t affect us like wiping a whole town out at one time,” Crittenden said.
USDOT said 3,450 of the 37,461 deadly crashes in 2016 were related to distracted driving.
“We have always been distracted as drivers,” Crittenden said. “These automobiles, we don’t think about them being deadly weapons, but they are.”
Crittenden said the advancements in technology only add to people driving distracted. For years, law enforcement has warned people to put down their phones, specifically to stop texting and driving.
“Just the cognitive distraction alone is bad enough, but if we are taking our eyes and hands off the wheel too, that’s just a disaster waiting to happen,” he said.
Now, there’s a push for drivers to not only stop texting and driving, but to stop streaming and driving. There’s even an online campaign promoting #dontstreamandrive on Twitter.
“It’s so important right now that we don’t take our eyes off the roadway,” Crittenden explained. “That one or two seconds that you take your eye off the road could be the end of someones life that quickly.”