WOWK 13 News

AAA sees distracted driving-related crashes increase

CHARLESTON, WV (WOWK) – AAA is reminding those who get behind the wheel to stay completely focused on the tasks at hand – driving, but recent reports still show an increase in distract driving-related incidents.

In West Virginia, AAA says 14 people died from distracted driving crashes in 2018. Nearly 3,000 people were killed as a result of distracted driving nationwide.

Distracted driving doesn’t just include texting, it includes using GPS, picking your next podcast, eating and drinking and talking with other people in the car.

Public and Government Affair Manager, Cindy Antrican said, “it’s not necessarily what you’re doing with your hands, it’s what your brain is doing, or in fact, what you’re not doing. You need your full attention on driving.”

AAA says they continue to see an increase in distracted driving and distracted driving-related incidents, even with the hands-free devices available today.

“Some of those things are great to have, but it’s not a good idea to order a pizza while you’re driving,” said Antrican.

Often times, those involved in an accident caused by distracted driving don’t report the cause, according to AAA.

“Not too often, someone who’s been in a crash going to admit to the police officer on scene that, ‘yes, I was sending a text at the time of the crash.’,” said Antrican.

AAA encourages drivers of all ages to put distractions out of sight or reach while driving, or have someone be your ‘designated texter’ to answer your calls and texts on the trip.