Back to School Distracted Driving

By: Jillian Risberg Email
By: Jillian Risberg Email

It's back to school and that means keeping your eyes on the road, not on your phone -- or anywhere else.

Distracted driving is the leading cause of death among teenagers.

"More so than driving while drinking and we do everything in our classes, in our driver's ed classes, to try to alleviate that problem,” says Tammy McKnight, curriculum coordinator for Wood County Schools.

They always teach West Virginia laws for driving.

"And we have some schools that are even looking into bringing in simulators so that the kids can get a real world, hands-on feel of what it feels like to be a distracted driver without being in harm's way,” McKnight says.

It just takes three to five seconds.

"There are hundreds of things that can happen to you in front of you that you're going to end up maybe in an accident and could cause bodily harm or death,” says Richard Lance, Wood County Schools’ director of transportation. “It's just a very, very good reason not to do that."

It's not only about texting.

"I'm talking about eating, I'm taking about changing radio stations -- anything that's going to take their eyes off the road or their attention away from their driving,” McKnight says.

And school buses at a stop.

"When they have the red lights on make sure you stop and also when you're driving through a school zone," Lance says. "If the 15 mile an hour speed limit signs are on, please drive 15 miles an hour. Keep your eyes open for anybody that may be coming out in front of you."

No one's immune.

"Kids who are new to driving (and) any teenager who is driving is at risk to be distracted,” McKnight says.

It's important to be aware.

"Of their surroundings and what's going on in that car and on the road at all times,” McKnight says.

Many teens drive to school in Wood County.

According to McKnight, they’ve even had accidents on school grounds.

“We want to make sure that that doesn't happen again,” she says.

Stay safe, don't text, talk or eat and drive. Remember, school's in session and it's a no distracted driving zone.


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