Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon

Distracted driving is not a passing fad.  It has become a trend with deadly, real consequences.

For anyone who thinks they can talk on their phone, text, apply make-up, or do any other distracting activity while driving, it’s time for a crash course in reality from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Thousands are killed and nearly half-a-million people are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver each year, according to NHTSA.

Drivers using a hand-held device are four times more likely to be involved in a serious crash, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

While those numbers may sound like just statistics, they’re anything but.  They could be parents, children, neighbors and friends from right here in Lexington County. There are too many sad tales of deaths and injuries that could have been prevented had drivers been paying attention to the road instead of someone or something else.

Why do so many people participate in this dangerous behavior?  With more technology now than ever, driver distractions have risen to unprecedented levels. We live in a world where people expect instant, real-time information 24-hours-a-day. Those expectations don’t stop just because someone gets behind the wheel.  Drivers still do not realize – or choose to ignore – the danger they create when they take their eyes off the road, their hands off the wheel, and their focus off driving.

Yes, this is a national problem, but it also affects us in Lexington County. No one is immune from the dangers of distracted driving. So please remember: One text or call could wreck it all.