Fresno CHP officers emphasize safety during Distracted Driving Awareness Month

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than eight people are killed in car crashes involving a distracted driver each day in the United States. (KFSN)

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, more than eight people are killed in car crashes involving a distracted driver each day in the United States.

Now, Fresno California Highway Patrol officers are reminding us how important it is to stay focused behind the wheel.

You may remember the horrific video that captured the last few seconds of 22-year-old Tyler Smedley's life. The former Clovis Unified student was killed as he was recording himself while driving in December 2015.

"Anything that diverts a driver's attention from the roadway even for one or two seconds can result in tragedy the bottom line whatever the distraction," Cmdr. Craig Kunzler said. "It's not worth it."

As part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the CHP is taking action and putting greater emphasis on enforcing these types of traffic violations statewide.

"It's a question to ask yourself while driving and either texting or talking on a phone," Kunzler said. "Have you ever missed an exit or an onramp missed a stop light or red light not seen the brake lights directly in front of you?"

CHP officers say texting has proven to be the most hazardous distraction to a driver, but that's not all.

"Whether it be eating or putting on makeup, checking Facebook status," officer Sean Duncan said.

Duncan says characteristics in the way they drive are very similar to a sleepy or DUI driver.

"Weaving in between lanes, drifting off the side of the road," he said.

Fresno CHP officers want to remind us all to keep our minds on driving and hands on the wheel.

"Talk or text later because there is no phone call or text that is more important than your safety or the safety of others," Kunzler said.

Kunzler also says traffic collisions are the number one killer of teenagers nationally. This week, they are speaking at schools to educate young drivers as part of California teen safe driving week.
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