April is "Distracted Driving Awareness" month so the Soddy Daisy Police Department is partnering with the Tennessee Highway Patrol for its “Thumbs Down to Texting and Driving Campaign".     

According to a AAA survey, Tennessee drivers say texting while driving is the most dangerous, followed by driving while tired and grooming. One of the dispatchers at the Soddy Daisy Police Department talks about her experience with texting while driving.

“Texting and driving I thought well that's not really that bad I can get away with it,” said Alley Roach, Soddy Daisy dispatcher. “It's just one simple look at a text and I'm good.”

Roach was 16 when she got into an accident because she was texting while driving.

“I completely ruined my car. I crashed right into the truck and it was all over one simple text,” said Roach.  She is now involved with the "Thumbs Down to Texting and Driving Campaign".

The Tennessee Highway Department of Safety reports that in 2017 more than 24,000 crashes occurred in the state and 120 were fatal.

“Our mission is to drive to zero we want zero fatalities in the state of Tennessee,” says Pam Weathers, Soddy Daisy PIO.

Tennessee has a law prohibiting the use of cell phones to read or send messages while driving. Those breaking this law can be fined 50 dollars.

Pam Weathers, a patrol officer at the police department, says most people think of distracted driving as just texting but she says it's more than that.

“Texting on your phone, picking up your phone to change the music, answering your phone calls, reaching in the floorboard to pick up something that may have fallen while you're driving,” said Weathers.

Roach calls herself one of the lucky ones because her accident did not cause any injuries.  She warns others not to take any chances.

“So that you're safe and alive you don't want to risk hurting yourself or someone else like your parents. You have to think about everyone around you,” said Roach.


TIPS TO PREVENT DISTRACTED DRIVING: https://tntrafficsafety.org/distracted-driving