BEAVERTON, Ore. (KOIN) — Distracted driving is more dangerous than drunk driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
April is distracted driving month, and police have increased patrols to combat the problem.
KOIN took a ride-along with Beaverton Police officers and witnessed many drivers on cellphones.
“Depending on the crash, we will write search warrants for cell phone records and figure out if there was cellphone usage prior to the crash,” Officer Daniel Frye said.
If a person is distracted and hits and kill someone, it is a similar charge to someone who hits and kills someone while drunk.
According to new data from Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, 1 in 10 drivers are on their phone — checking emails, text or social media. As a result, more people are being hurt and killed, the researchers say.
“We’re looking down here at the device and then when we look up, we’re not getting the whole picture of what’s going on around us, so if something is coming in from the sides our ability to perceive that is diminished as well,” Officer Frye said.