Distracted driving is dangerous. Michigan State Police have begun a new social media campaign to encourage people to put their phones down.

While it us still OK to talk on your phone while behind the wheel, distracted driving is illegal in Michigan. The fine is $100 for a first offense, and subsequent infractions carry a $200 penalty. No doubt you've noticed it is a growing problem. Reading, typing or sending a text while behind the wheel is illegal in Michigan, but distracted driving is so much more.

What is distracted driving?

  1. Using a cell phone and/or texting
  2. Eating and drinking
  3. Talking to passengers
  4. Grooming
  5. Reading (including maps)
  6. Using GPS
  7. Watching videos
  8. Changing the radio station/CD/mp3

Here's the thing: most of us know distracted driving is a problem, but we think it's someone else's problem. The Michigan State Police Criminal Justice Information Center found that more people view drivers texting or emailing while driving as a serious threat (96.8 percent) than drivers talking on cellphones (87.7 percent). However, in the month before the study, 44.9 percent of drivers read a text message or email while driving and 34.6 percent of drivers typed or sent a text message or email while driving. In 2016, there were 12,788 crashes in Michigan involving distracted driving, resulting in 43 fatalities and 5,103 injuries.

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Michigan State Police recommend using the "do not disturb" feature, putting your phone in the glove box or center console. If the temptation is irresistible, they recommend tossing your phone in the backseat or stowing it in the trunk until you safely reach your destination. The message is clear: "get your head out of your app."

Get your head out of your app. Avoid being distracted by your phone while driving by using your phone’s “Do Not Disturb”...

Posted by Michigan State Police on Monday, April 19, 2021

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