Wood County group reminds drivers: hands on the wheel, eyes on the road

Safe Communities of Wood County uses distracted driving simulation to spread awareness.
Published: Apr. 7, 2021 at 10:48 AM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - April marks National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Safe Communities of Wood County is on a mission to show teens and adults alike the harsh realities of the dangers of distracted driving.

In addition to social media campaigns, the group brings a distracted driving simulator to schools and events where participants can experience first-hand how simple and deadly it is to be distracted behind the wheel.

“Yeah it’s a game and the kids love it because it’s a game, but it’s also a teaching tool and we can teach them traffic laws while looking for cars,” explains Sandy Weichman, Safety Coordinator of Safe Communities of Wood County. “There’s cars here that come in and cut you off, and that’s just like real-life driving – there’s people that cut you off. So you have to be ready at a moment’s notice for all the distractions that are coming through.”

Sandy says that distracted driving is the number one cause of death for teens in the United States and is 100% preventable.

Some of the things you can do to prevent distracted driving include:

  • Do not use your phone for your GPS
  • Plan your route before you go
  • Set up an automatic driving message to all incoming texts and calls
  • Give your phone to a passenger

“We definitely have a distracted driving problem in Wood County,” says Weichman. “A lot of our crashes involve teens and youth and distracted driving, and everybody thinks that distracted driving is holding your phone or texting, and there are so many other things that come into play. We just need to stop doing everything in our car except for driving.”

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