KZRG NewsLatest NewsNews Joplin MOTrending

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month: Texting while driving is illegal

The Drive To Zero Coalition, along with the Kansas Department of Transportation, urges drivers to always put safety first and ditch distractions, as inattention is the main cause of motor vehicle crashes.

Preliminary 2023 data for Kansas shows 102 people died and more than 450 people were injured in crashes due to distracted driving.

Distracted Driving Awareness Month, which takes place in April, focuses on raising awareness and educating motorists to increase safety on roadways. During April, Kansas motorists will hear and see more distracted driving safety messages. Increased law enforcement will remind drivers any distraction, including texting, is unsafe, unnecessary and illegal.

“Distracted driving for any reason is dangerous and puts others at risk,” said Gary Herman, KDOT Behavior Safety Manager. “As soon as your eyes leave the road and your hands leave the steering wheel, focus on driving is gone. This results in no time to safely react to traffic hazards.”

Herman said distractions include eating, sipping a beverage, turning attention to a child in the backseat and texting.

Research by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) shows drivers ages 18-34 represent the most distracted drivers, namely due to cell phone use. In addition, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reports mental distractions can last up to 27 seconds after using voice commands on cars, changing music or using phones.

Drivers are encouraged to develop safe driving habits and:

  • Put the phone away and out of reach.
  • Activate the phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature.
  • Avoid adjusting the radio, handling food and other items that take your hands off the wheel.
  • Have passengers oversee navigation information and all phones.
  • If needed, pull over at a safe location to handle things.

For more information about the distracted driving, go to

Show More
Back to top button