The research on distracted driving might scare you. For instance, drivers who use hand-held devices are four timesmore likely to be in a crash causing injury.
But a free distracted driving class hopes to teach people how to avoid becoming another statistic.
You've seen the PSA's of teens picking up their phones, then smashing their cars. It's supposed to scare you into paying attention on the road. But is it working? Folks like Ryan McGuire see distracted drivers all the time.
"You know texting, Facebooking, going down the road. Stuff like that," said McGuire.
McGuire was part of a room full of people who used Monday afternoon to take a free course on the subject. It's put on by Siouxland Safety Services, where officials say something needs to be done.
"Fifty years ago we didn't have near the number of distractions that we do now. Cars are coming, built in with computer screens, touch-screens. We've got GPS's, smartphones, we've got a lot of distractions," said Aaron Iacino, instructor of the class and V.P. of Siouxland Safety Services.
Iacino's worries are backed up by USDOT stats online. They say in 2010, more than 3,000 people were killed in distracted driving crashes. Plus, they estimate you're 23 times more likely to be in a crash if you're texting.
So how can you stay safe? Iacino has been telling his class it's easy, just be prepared before you drive.
"Set your AC or your heater. Get your tunes loaded before you go. Put the GPS addresses in before you go, not while you're driving. Get it all set up before you start moving," said Iacino.
"What we recommend a lot is just turn them off. It's too tempting," said Iacino.
Siouxland Safety Services teaches more than just safe driving skills. Here's a few other classes offered:
Teen Techs on the Road 12/10 5:30-6:30; Fist Diet Seminar 12/17 5:00-6:00; Handgun Presentation & Retention 12/31 10:00-12:00.
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