Distracted Driving Awareness Month

LUZERNE COUNTY, Pa. -- It is Distracted Drivers Awareness Month, and state police will be keeping a watchful eye for those who can't keep their eyes on the road.

Whether on side streets or on a busy highway, most of have seen drivers swerve off the road or worse because they were looking at their phones.

Drivers in Bloomsburg tell Newswatch 16 on more than occasion, they've had near misses with distracted drivers.

"All the time. Around here there are a lot of blind alleys, and there are a lot of crashes around here," Alexander Sriharsha said.

"I think where it is slower, people do not think about it as much, so it can be scary," said Eric Wunsch.

Sriharsha added that split second of checking your phone could be life-changing.

"It is terrible. There are a lot of cats and dogs out here, tons of wildlife. That split second of distraction could really end up killing you or something else."

In 2016, PennDOT reported that there were more than 16,000 crashes where distracted driving was a factor.

"When you are driving an automobile, you need to focus on the road. You need to make sure you get from A to B safely. We have seen a lot of bad crashes and it really is a shame because people were not focusing on driving. You only get one shot at life," said Tpr. Anthony Petroski, Pennsylvania State Police.

Newswatch 16 spoke to Petroski inside the state police barracks near Hazleton.

"We are driving side by side with vehicles and you simply look over and you see exactly what they are doing or you see the head bob and you see them swerving," said Petroski.

Right now, state police do not have any active campaigns to stop distracted drivers but say they are always on the roads ready to stop drivers from harming themselves or others.

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