Distracted Driving is becoming a national crisis in America. You see it every time you drive. Someone is on their phone talking, texting or reading a message all while driving. I used to think it was just a problem with teen drivers, but it is not isolated to just that demographic. Distracted driving is a public health issue that affects us all.

The latest statistics show motor vehicle fatalities are up 6% from 2015. And according to the National Safety Council, More than 40,000 people were killed on our nation's roadways last year, and distracted driving is a major contributor.  According to Edgar Snyder & Associates, 11 teens die every single day as a result of texting while driving. According to a Triple-A poll, 94% of teens acknowledged the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admit they do it anyway.

Each death is 100% preventable. From cell phones to dashboard infotainment systems to evolving voice command features – they all pose a threat to our safety. Just one second of your attention is all takes to change a life forever.

So how do we stop it?  Perhaps build vehicles that prohibit phone usage while the car is in gear. Set up text traps like sped traps.  A first offense is a warning for an adult or a police call to a teen’s parent informing them of their child’s offense followed by hefty fine for a second offense. The State of Maryland House of Delegates just approved a bill raising the fine from $175 to $500 per offense. Hit the wallet hard and the phone just might leave one’s hand too.

Something has got to happen. Forty-thousand people died last year (the approximate population of all of Quincy) and many of those deaths were preventable.

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