Alhambra Police Department is on the lookout for distracted drivers in April as part of Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Agencies around the nation are taking part in the initiative by the National Safety Council to help enforce laws regarding distracted driving, such as no texting or talking on a cell phone behind the wheel.
"Consider this: driving at 35 mph, if you take your eyes off the road for as little as three to three and a half seconds, let's say to read or send a quick text message, your car will travel about half the distance of a football field before you look back up," said Alhambra Police Sgt. Gerald Johnson. "Guess how many times responding officers at a traffic collision here the phrase, 'But I only looked down for a second.'"
This was true for a woman driving southbound on Garfield Avenue in Alhambra on March 21. She became distracted from talking on her cell phone and hit a parked car near Shorb Street, according to Johnson. She lost control of her vehicle and it overturned on Garfield just north of Valley Boulevard. The woman was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
While talking on the phone or texting is dangerous, there are also many other ways to lose focus on the road, according to Johnson. "Some of the most common ways are eating, distractions from other people in your car, grooming, talking on or using cell phones and other electronics such as GPS or car radio, reading, and signs of affection with your spouse or significant other such as kissing," Johnson said. "The next time you get behind the wheel, think about these distractions and avoid taking your eyes off the road or losing concentration."