BOZEMAN – April is national Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the federal transportation officials are encouraging law enforcement to be on the lookout for drivers texting or using their cell phones behind the wheel.
The US Department of Transportation reports that five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. At 55 mph that quick glance at your phone is enough time to cover the length of an entire football field.
Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Patrick McLaughlin says as the roads start to dry people are driving with less caution and more speed.
“With the warmer weather people are going to be doing more and unfortunately social media blows up a lot more when people are out being active so we see a lot of people on their phones,” Sgt. McLaughlin said.
“A lot of people not paying attention to the road, you’re not going to see it probably for a couple more weeks but as stuff starts to green up people are going to be distracted more by the scenery, looking at the birds, looking at the animals and again, not watching the road,” he added.
Mclaughlin also says the Patrol has been noticing many people not wearing their seatbelts and wants to remind everyone of the importance of buckling up.