CAPE CORAL, FLA — Thanksgiving is just two days away and triple-A says with 6.4 million more people traveling this Thanksgiving coupled with the recent opening of the U.S. borders to fully vaccinated international travelers… people should be prepared for roads and airports to be noticeably more crowded.
Fox 4’s Elyse Chengery takes a look at how an increase in drivers around our area also raises more risk for distracted driving.
Alert today alive tomorrow..the message from law enforcement. Pay attention when driving.
According to AAA the popularity of texting has grown substantially over the past few years and continues to increase.
It's one form of distracted driving.
Police Chief Anthony Sizemore at Cape Coral Police Department says, “The most common language that I would give you is that driving drunk and driving impaired or distracted or drowsy is going up that’s the only step that we need to know is it’s increasing and it shouldn’t it’s 100% preventable and anybody can do their part to make it go down.”
Drunk, drugged, drowsy and distracted driving have deadly consequences. Nationally more than 3,100 deaths happened in 2019 because of distracted driving. Distractions can be visual like looking at the radio system, physical like reaching for an object or cognitive like talking on a cellphone.
Sheriff Carmine Marceno with Lee County Sheriffs Office, “So we ask everyone as a team please help us if you see someone that’s making the wrong decision, stop them. Say don’t drive you had a drink or three, don’t drive you took NyQuil, whatever it may be let’s all be safe and make those right choices.”
A medical director with Lee County Trauma district told us motor vehicle crashes are the number one thing he sees in the ER.
All reasons why multiple agencies came together from Cape Coral, Lee County, Fort Myers and Florida Highway Patrol to talk about drunk, drugged, drowsy and distracted driving.
Lieutenant Greg Bueno with Florida Highway Patrol, “Our advice is for people to make good choices behind the wheel and our message really is to give the gift of safety and that’s a gift to yourself it’s a gift to your family it’s a gift to all of our families because we use the same road and that’s a gift like no other.”
Also - take a break when driving long distances, it's not the best idea to think coffee or a quick rolling down your window is going to help maintain a safe level of alertness.
And as we head into the holiday season...“Good advice a reminder from the jolly good old fellow himself old Saint Nick, he sees you when you’re sleeping he knows when you’re awake he knows whether you’ve been bad or good so will be good for goodness sake we wish everyone in Southwest Florida a safe and happy holiday season,” Lieutenant Bueno.
Another reminder from police - buckle up and move over for first responders so they can get to emergencies and hospitals easier.