News from the desk of Sheriff James Potter


“Distracted Driving Awareness Month”
Did you know more than 3,000 Americans are killed in distracted driving crashes each year? April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month, and I think this is the perfect time to reflect on our responsibility as citizens for the choices we make while we are driving on the roads.
I’d like to emphasize the importance of being aware on the road for distracted drivers. Even if you are taking extra safety precautions while driving, unfortunately other people likely are not. Driving takes focus, and it takes a responsible individual to give it the attention it deserves. Remember, when you’re behind the wheel, your only job is to drive safely and distraction-free.
While you are doing your part to drive safely, you must cautiously be aware of what other drivers are doing around you. The most recent statistics from the State Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles recorded nearly 48,500 distracted driving crashes just in 2021.
The four types of distractions we face nearly every day are visual, auditory, manual and cognitive. Visual distractions can be looking at anything other than the road. Auditory distractions are when a driver hears something not related to driving. This could be the radio, a cell phone or a passenger talking in the vehicle. Manual distractions are when a driver is manipulating something other than the steering wheel. This can be a cell phone, eating a meal or potentially attending to a child in the backseat. The last type of distracted driving is also often the most common, cognitive distractions is when a driver is thinking about something other than driving. Most drivers do this several times while driving.
How you choose to observe distracted driving awareness month is completely up to you. I ask that you take the time to think about ways you can implement being aware of your surroundings for potential distracted drivers around you. We ask you to drive responsibly, and this includes reporting any reckless driving to the Sheriff’s Office.
Remember, you can make a difference to help avoid traffic crash related incidents. Take action in our community by reminding your friends and family if you are in the driver’s seat, it’s the only thing you should be focused on. If your driver is texting or focusing on another form of distraction, politely tell them to stop and focus on the road to protect both of your safety. Ask your family and friends to join you in pledging not to drive distracted. You could save a life.
I appreciate all the safe drivers throughout our county for continuing to prioritize staying safe on the roads.

Be Kind, Be Safe, God Bless,
Sheriff Potter