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Kentucky highway safety officials encourage people to pay attention behind the wheel


April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and officials said now is the time to unlearn bad habits.

According to officials, distracted driving comes in three forms. First is visual, removing eyes from the road. Next is manual, removing hands from the wheel. Finally, cognitive distraction is being focused mentally elsewhere.

Executive Director of the Office of Highway Safety Bill Bell said certain distracted driving habits are becoming normalized in society, and that needs to change.

“If you’re holding the phone and you’re looking at the phone and you're thinking about the conversation that you're having or the actual, whatever’s on the phone. Whether you’re texting and driving or, some people even try to watch movies while they're driving. And so, that involves all three types of distractions. That’s why the cell phone is the biggest problem we have as far as distracted driving,” said Bell.

Bell said there are plenty of ways to help stop distractions when driving, including apps that disable phone usage when in motion.

“You can find these apps that will disable your phone. So, when the vehicle is in motion it will shut down the phone, so you’re not even tempted to use it while driving. Some of those you can override, let’s say if you’re in the passenger’s seat you can override that. But that’s the safe way to go as far as not using your phone. Because when you hear that ding, or when you know that you’re getting a message you’re tempted to look and see who’s trying to reach you,” said Bell.

Bell added that phones are not the only distraction that can occur when driving, but they are the main ones seen in distracted driving collision cases.

Bell said being aware when driving is easy to do and is the best way to lower the chances of being involved in a crash.