April Named 'Distracted Driving' Month In Virginia | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

April Named 'Distracted Driving' Month In Virginia

Play associated audio
Driving while on a cell phone is known to significantly impair reaction times.
Stephanie Wallace: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wishymom/312406593/
Driving while on a cell phone is known to significantly impair reaction times.

Gov. Bob McDonnell (R-Va.) has declared April Distracted Driving month. Many drivers say they simply can't cut their addiction to devices while driving.

One driver who wished to remain anonymous, pulled into a gas station talking on a hand-held cell phone while trying to maneuver to the pumps -- and shrugged it off.

"Because I'm calm, I'm just talking, you know," he says. "I think it is distracting when people have arguments and they get emotional on the phone. What would it take you to stop? Well, I'm talking to my employer so I have to communicate with my employer getting different kinds of jobs like that."

He could buy a hands free-device.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety finds that just using a cell phone increases the risk of a crash by four times. And there are many more kinds of driver distractions.

John Townsend, a spokesman for AAA Mid Atlantic, says the best way to get people to change their behavior is tougher enforcement.

"Research shows you have to have the penalties," he says. "You can have the best laws in the world, but if people don't fear a penalty they are not going to change their behavior."

As many as 85 percent of crashes, and 65 percent of near crashes happen within just 3 seconds of taking one's eyes off the road, according to AAA data.

NPR

Comedian George Carlin Is National Portrait Gallery's Newest Face

NPR's Audie Cornish talks to Kelly Carlin, the daughter of the late comedian George Carlin, about the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery's unveiling of her father's portrait Friday.
NPR

Calif. Governor Can't Make It Rain, But Can Make Relief Money Pour

California Gov. Jerry Brown signed his sweeping $1.1 billion emergency drought relief bill Friday. It funds water infrastructure improvements like flood control and aid for farmworkers.
NPR

Nigerian President Faces Tough Reelection Campaign

Nigerians head to the polls Saturday to vote for their new president. The incumbent Goodluck Jonathan faces former military leader, Muhammadu Buhari, who says he's tough on security and corruption.
NPR

App That Aims To Make Books 'Squeaky Clean' Draws Ire From Edited Writers

Clean Reader — an app designed to find, block and replace profanity in books — has drawn considerable criticism from authors. This week, makers of the app announced they would no longer sell e-books.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.