WEST MONROE, La. (KTVE/KARD) — According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Louisiana State Police Troop F Public Information Officer Master Trooper Javier Leija shared information on Facebook which highlighted distracted driving.

Driving distracted is a leading factor in crashes and has become a deadly epidemic. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,142 people were killed in 2020 from distracted driving. In Louisiana alone, statistics show that over 700 people were killed or were seriously injured in 2020 from a crash involving distraction or inattentiveness. As some of you may know, April is national distracted driving awareness month. Anything that takes your mind off driving is a distraction.

Louisiana State Police Troop F Public Information Officer Master Trooper Javier Leija

According to Master Trooper Leija, texting is an obvious distraction, but other examples include:

  • Talking.
  • Social networking.
  • Eating.
  • Applying makeup.
  • Using a navigation system.
  • Drinking coffee.

Master Trooper Leija reported that everyday troopers look for those that choose to text and drive.

During April, troopers will be enforcing Louisiana’s law and participating in special enforcement details. We ask that drivers make the mature and responsible decision by making good choices. If you must send a text or email, simply pullover and stop your vehicle in a safe location, not on the shoulder of the roadway. Another choice would be to have a passenger send the text or email for you. Do not scroll through apps or social networks while driving. If using your phone while driving has become a habit, simply place the phone out of reach while driving. Place it in an area of the vehicle that you can not access. Take time to educate your friends and family about the dangers of driving distracted. Nobody is immune to the potential deadly consequences. Violating the law can be very costly, whether it’s a high fine, serious injury, or death. Don’t become a statistic.

Louisiana State Police Troop F Public Information Officer Master Trooper Javier Leija

Master Trooper Leija also posted a video about distracted driving. Watch the video here.