SHELTON, Conn. -- Shelton Police are warning local teens not to drive while distracted this weekend, the busiest for Connecticut drivers.
State and local police are combining their efforts to increase patrols and monitor roadways to "ensure a safe" Labor Day weekend, said Shelton Police Interim Chief Shawn Sequiera.
“We urge residents, especially our teenage drivers, to please follow the rules of the road and avoid distractions," he said.
“Whether operating under the influence of alcohol or drugs, or texting and driving, anything that impedes your focus could end with serious consequences.”
Sequiera outlined some of the risks associated with driving for all drivers, especially those newly licensed:
Don’t text and drive.
The statistics are alarming related to teen driving and texting, according to police.
A quarter of teenagers respond to a text message once or more every time their drive, police said, citing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
The average text takes a driver's eyes of the road for five seconds, the report said.
While traveling at 55 miles per hour, that’s enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded, according to the report.
Drivers are urged to keep their phone off while driving.
This will help ensure drivers’ focus remains solely on the road.
Engaging in tasks like reaching for a phone, dialing and texting increases the risk of getting into a crash threefold, said the NHTSA report.
Don't drink and drive.
Never get behind the wheel if you’ve been drinking and don’t get in a vehicle with an impaired driver.
Obey the speed limit.
Speeding is a major contributor to motor vehicle accidents and fatal car crashes.
Be a defensive driver.
Remain cognizant of the traffic ahead, behind, and next to you at all times. Stay at least one car length behind the car in front of you, especially in areas where the speed limit is slower.
Remember to share the road with bikers on side streets, even if arrows are not marked.
Turn your headlights on to increase visibility.