Partnership and pledge to end distracted driving deaths

(WLNS) – Distracted driving kills hundreds of thousands of driver every year, but a partnership between Michigan State Police and Verizon Mobile hopes to reverse the deadly trend.

In a matter of seconds, distracted driving can turn deadly.

“It can definitely be life threatening,” Michigan State Police Sgt. Kevin Beasley said.

Nearly 2,000 local students took a pledge to put their phones down while behind the wheel, it’s all part of a partnership between Verizon Mobile and Michigan State Police, as they work to raise awareness that using modern technology on the roads can have serious consequences.

“It’s heartbreaking, the immediacy of the technology means you have to get it out of reach, you’ve got to get it out of sight and if you don’t the temptation is always going to be there,” Verizon VP of Cooperate Communications Jeffrey Nelson explained.

MSP Sgt. Beasley has seen the aftermath of distracted driving first-hand.

“We’ve all seen and heard oft he different crashes and the serious things that can happen from what ends up happening from a distracted driver,” Beasley said.

Wednesday at Holt High School State Police and Verizon teamed up with students themselves, in hopes of stressing he true dangers teens are putting themselves and others in everyday.

“You could potentially hurt other people in a car, you could hurt yourself in a car and it doesn’t only affect you, it affects the people around you and your family as well,” Member of Students Against Destructive Decisions Alaina McFarland said.

For drivers who think its not a serious issue, Beasley says, the signs of distracted driving mimic those of a drunk driver, making it just as dangerous.

“Weaving, hitting the fog line, hitting the center line,” Beasley listed. “Vehicles that are speeding up and slowing down”.

The best way to avoid temptation is to turn it off. Beasley says if you have to use it, pull over and park before reaching for your phone.

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