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‘It’s a huge problem’: Data shows more than 300 people killed in distracted driving crashes in 2021

ORLANDO, Fla. — Florida Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles investigated more than 56,000 distracted driving crashes in 2021.

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For National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the agency has launched a new campaign to remind drivers to keep their hands on the wheel, eyes on the road and their minds on driving.

Distracted driving is only getting worse in our state.

Lt. Kim Montes has been patrolling Central Florida streets for more than two decades.

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“It’s a huge problem,” Montes said. “A lot of people think it’s not as bad a drinking and driving or driving drowsy, but it is as big of a problem.”

FHSMV data shows 333 people died in distracted driving crashes in 2021, the highest recorded in Florida in at least eight years.

“Your brain can do one thing good and when you start multitasking something’s going to fall off and a lot of time it’s the driving,” Montes said.

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A lot of things cause you to drive distracted, eating, putting on makeup, tending to your child in the back seat, but leading the way are cell phones and it’s not just texting or calling.

“We’ve seen people watch TV we’ve seen people FaceTime, Snapchat. None of those things are allowed. You should be focusing on your driving,” Montes said.

FHP said statewide, they work 1,000 distracted driving crashes a week.

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You can get a ticket and points on your license. No text, call or bite of food is worth it.

Distracted driving is costly and could be deadly.

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