Campaign says ‘Park your phone and drive’

(WTNH) — It’s becoming a major problem, talking and texting while behind the wheel. April is distracted driving awareness month and a new campaign is asking you to “park your phone and drive your car.”

Distracted driving is a problem that won’t seem to go away.

“I’d say it’s an epidemic, is the best way to sum it up,” said Andrew Pannone.

Andrew Pannone is a safe driving expert with All-Star Driver in Watertown. They’ve launched a campaign called “Park your Phone, Drive your Car.” Tackling distracted driving has become their mission, as they teach young drivers the rules of the road.

“We really want to hammer home the dangers involved with driving distracted, cell phone use and the problems that come with that,” said Pannone.

But this is an issue that impacts every driver. Despite the laws here in Connecticut, people continue to text or talk on their cell phones without a hands free device.

All Star Driver

And here’s an alarming statistic, when we text while driving, we look down for roughly 4.6 seconds, going 55 miles an hour, that’s the equivalent of driving across a football field, blindfolded.

And that’s not all…

“At any given time, 660,000 people are using their phones. That makes you 20 times more likely to get into an accident and the easiest thing you can do is turn your phone off,” said Christine Santora, All-Star Driver.

“The stats show that over 26% of crashes are a direct result of distracted driving,” said Edward Costa, All-Star Driver.

The experts say these statistics often have a big impact on new drivers.

“It usually starts with shock, a lot of them don’t believe those statistics but then once they think about them they understand. It effects change in their behavior,” said Pannone.

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