ESCANABA, Mich. (WLUC) - Distracted driving is something we're all guilty of doing; but, just because it's common doesn't make it okay.
"Crashes have increased 57 percent from 2016 to 2017,” said Lieutenant Officer Chad Larsen of the Michigan State Police.
From this statistic, we're able to see how dangerous driving distracted is. It puts people in harm's way, as it did with one of Lieutenant Larsen’s close friends.
"Distracted driving is becoming an issue with drivers on the road way, and they are paying attention more to their cell phones and what's going on in their vehicles rather than the main responsibility of driving in the vehicle,” explained Larsen.
Distracted driving can be anything from making a phone call, adjusting the temperature on your car, and even taking a sip of water.
This is surprising to believe, but it is the truth, which is why Lieutenant Larsen is committed to spreading awareness about this issue.
On Friday morning, he gave a PowerPoint presentation as well as a demonstration to drivers at Midwest Truck Driving School in honor of Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
He understands driving on the road for hours at a time can be long and hard causing drivers' minds to stray. But he informs them to stay focused to not only think about themselves, but other drivers, too.
"Getting that awareness out there, that distracted driving is not just something that you should be concerned about, but something that you need to cognizantly think about and try to correct, these distractions when on the road,” said Josh Barron, one of the certified instructors at the school.
Lieutenant Larsen again advises people to pull over if it is an emergency. If not, simply wait until you safely arrive to your destination to prevent any mishaps from happening.