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VAN WERT - The Van Wert Post of the Ohio State Highway Patrol is reminding drivers to keep their eyes and focus on the roadway while driving. According to the National Highway Safety Administration last year in the United States, 3,331 people were killed and 387,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.

Sending or receiving a text message takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent, at 55 mph, of driving the length of an entire football field.

"Every time someone takes their eyes or their focus off the road - even for just a few seconds - they put their lives and the lives of others in danger," said Lt. L.D. Brode, commander of the Van Wert Post.

"Distracted driving is unsafe, irresponsible and in a split second, its consequences can be devastating."

Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Distractions can be Visual - taking eyes off of the road; Manual - taking hands off the wheel; or Cognitive - taking the mind off driving. Texting while driving is an example that results in all three types of distraction

For more distracted driving facts please visit statepatrol.ohio.gov/doc/Distracted_Driving_Bulletin_2013.pdf