The Idaho Transportation Department says that Idaho’s roads are becoming increasingly dangerous with a growing number of people and distracted drivers on the rise. What is distracted driving?
“We kind of break distractions into three different buckets, there is the manual distraction, are your hands on the wheel, or are your hands on something else?” said Bill Kotowski, with the Idaho Transportation Department. “Then there is the visual distraction, are you looking ahead, or are you looking at something else, and then there is the cognitive distraction, where is your mind when you are driving?”
Using a phone uses all three of those types of distractions.
“A lot of people can do multiple things if they aren’t having to drive in addition to that," said Lt. Robert Rausch with the Idaho State Police. “Driving is unpredictable. People can come out of side streets, kids can run out in front of you. There is just so many things that can happen when you drive that aren’t necessarily there when you are sitting in a chair.”
More than 200 people were killed in traffic crashes in 2019 in Idaho according to the Idaho Transportation Department.
“What my advice to people is, is the statistics are pretty clear, that as the less attention we pay, the more crashes we have, and those crashes cost us not only in terms of property damage, but they also cost us the potential of our young people, or rather any people who get killed in these crashes,” Rausch said.
Rausch says that if people all pay attention and focus on the task at hand, everyone will all be safer. Kotowski agrees.
“In Idaho, we put a high value on community, on being good neighbors, and that needs to carry over, not to just how we do our activities, but how we act behind the wheel as well," Kotowski said. "These are our neighbors, these are our friends, what are we doing to look out for them, what are we doing to look out for ourselves?"