April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Published: Apr. 4, 2017 at 6:41 PM EDT
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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a time to recognize the factors that take a driver's eyes off the road.

The National Safety Council estimates that more than 40,000 people died in motor vehicle crashes last year and cell phone use being the leading cause.

According to Harrisonburg Police Department, your phone while driving can lead to a traffic infraction, costing you $125 initially and $250 the second time around.

But it's not the price tag that should worry you: more so the impact your bad habits could have on others.

Jerry Fawley is an instructor at Shenandoah Valley Driving School. He said that being distracted behind the wheel puts you, your passengers and pedestrians in danger.

He said they go over three forms of distractions with their students: who's inside the car, what's outside of it and what's going on in your mind.

"I always have my students try to imagine what could be happening ahead of them. And then when something happens then you have a controlled reaction and not a panicked reaction."

Fawley said having students think about upcoming signs and possible pedestrians helps to keep them focused on the task at hand, which is driving with their eyes locked on the road.