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FHP's Distracted Driver Awareness Month underway

Florida Highway Control hosts campaign

As we charge forward into spring, more and more of us will be hitting the roads and April happens to be Distracted Driving Awareness Month statewide.

The goal of the campaign put on by Florida Highway Patrol is to get drivers to curb the distractions and drive safely.

When it comes to defining distractions, the list might be longer than you think. Cell phones are big one but it's far from the only one.

"It can be you turning your body to talk to someone in the car. It can be you eating and drinking and cup of coffee and driving with your knees as you're going down the interstate" said Kim Montes, Public Affairs officer for FHP. "It can be messing with your GPS. Anything that takes your attention away from focusing 100 percent on your driving is distracted driving."

Distracted driving is an issue across all ages and demographics. For that reason, Orange County was the No. 1 county in the state for distracted driving accidents and number two in fatal distracted driving accidents.

''Because we know that we can reduce the number of crashes we have if people would just reduce the number of distractions'' said Montes.

That is why this campaign is so important.

Police said if you are traveling at 50 mph and look down for three seconds, you will have traveled the length of a football field with your eyes off the road.

Distracted driving is a secondary violation, which could coast you between $60 to $150.

More importantly, you're risking your own safely and that of everyone else around you.

"We want people to go back to focusing on the basics" said Montes. "Get in the car, put your seat belt on and leave all the distractions alone."