When was the last time you touched your phone while driving?
We won’t tell, but we will judge. Just kidding (mostly).
Maybe you took a little peek at Instagram when you were at a red light. Or responded to your friend’s text with the perfect GIF. Or you just had to pick up your phone and answer it, because it was your BFF who lives outside the country and you guys haven’t talked for months and you haven’t had a chance to set up your Bluetooth. But it’s okay, just this one time because BFF > the law, and your own safety, oh and also the safety of others around you. Yea…nope!
Testing. (tap – tap)
Is this thing on, and is our inherent Northwest passive aggressiveness coming through?
Here’s where you can use your phone in transit. On the bus.
You can sink into your own world. Just sit back, plug those headphones in, scroll away, and let someone else do the driving (ahem, transit for the win-win-win).
👀on the road, not on your📵.
We’re guessing that you know it’s a major no-no to use a handheld phone while driving. In July 2017, a new law passed in WA and full-fledged enforcement has been happening since early 2018. But this is behavior change. And change is hard, especially when it means detaching yourself from your tiny computer phone while you operate a machine, traveling anywhere from 20 – 65 MPH. And…we’re back with the passive aggressive.
Consider this: drivers who text behind the wheel have a 23% higher chance of causing a crash – or the equivalent of downing four beers, then getting behind the wheel.
Think about how crazy that is, yet how socially acceptable texting while driving has become. Study after study shows the extent to which people are addicted to their phones, even when behind the wheel.
And Seattle isn’t immune. Distracted driving remains a top contributing factor to crashes on our streets since 2011, we’ve seen a 266% increase in injury collisions involving distraction.
Since we used up all our word count above, we’ll keep this short and sweet:
Put your phone down and pay attention.
It’s as simple as that. For a complete rundown of what is and isn’t allowed via state law, head to wadrivetozero.com/distracted-driving/.
Distracted driving emphasis patrols.
You can’t say we didn’t warn you. April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month and as a part of statewide efforts, our partners at the Seattle Police Department will be out doing distracted driving emphasis patrols April 2 – 14.
The first ticket (an E-DUI) will cost you $136. If you get a second E-DUI (within 5 years), it’ll cost you $234. All violations will be available to your insurance company, which could also cost you $$$ via higher premiums.
What else can you do?
- If your phone has a “Do Not Disturb” while driving setting, enable it – Apple, Samsung, and other phones offer the feature (technology is trying to help us help ourselves).
- Join the It Can Wait movement.
- Looking for some creative ways to keep your phone out of reach while driving? Here are some of our faves.
With your help, we can reduce distracted driving incidents and get closer to our Vision Zero goal of ending traffic deaths and serious injuries on city streets by 2030.