Montana Highway Patrol urges drivers to pay attention

Posted at 3:24 PM, Apr 02, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-02 17:24:24-04

BOZEMAN – April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and federal transportation officials are encouraging law enforcement to be on the lookout for drivers texting or using cell phones behind the wheel.

The U.S. Department of Transportation reported five seconds is the average time your eyes are off the road while texting. At 55 miles per hour, a quick glance at your phone is enough time to cover the length of a football field.

Montana Highway Patrol Sergeant Patrick McLaughlin said as the roads start to dry, people drive with less caution and more speed.

“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 said.

He added people are more active during warmer weather, which means social media use increases.

McLaughlin also said the MHP has noticed many people not wearing seat belts and wants to remind everyone of the importance of buckling up.