MARIETTA, Ohio (WTAP) - April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
In honor of it, the Marietta post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding you to keep your eyes on the road.
According to OSHP officials, in 2016, almost 14,000 crashes in Ohio had a reported distraction, including over 25 fatal crashes. And from 2015 to 2016, the number of reported distracted drivers rose 5% over the previous year.
Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, which is equivalent of driving the length of a football field when traveling at 55 miles per hour.
Sgt. Garic Warner, of the Ohio State Highway Patrol, says:
"Manually, you're taking your hand off the wheel, visually you're taking your eyes off the road, and cognitively you're not thinking about driving. Just really think is it worth it? The fines are one thing, but if you cause a fatal accident, or you yourself get hurt seriously, just think about it. Is that text really worth it? Is that call really worth it?”