I always exhale with a huge sigh of relief the moment the wheels of my car have exited the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge.  The way I see it, if there is going to be a problem, the problem that will hang me up the most will happen on this bridge. State Police and the Louisiana Department of Transportation have bolstered my feelings of anxiety with a new video from the DOTD Facebook page.

The basic message of the video is this. Almost all of the issues that occur between basin bridge and Baton Rouge, in general, can be chalked up to one thing.

Distracted driving. 

According to State Police stats, it takes the average person five seconds to check a text message. That combined with the reaction time and stopping distance needed to slow a car from 70 mph to a dead stop doesn't leave you much time to avoid a crash. In fact, calculations suggest that whole process will take about two-tenths of a mile.

The numbers don't lie. Each year State Police work about 800 crashes on the stretch of I-10 between Lafayette and Baton Rouge. According to the statistics, 55% of those crashes are rear-end crashes and 22% of those crashes are same direction sideswipes.

When you apply the math that means that 616 of 800 crashes are caused by someone not paying attention behind the wheel. It seems to me if you want to avoid trouble on I-10 you simply need to put down your phone and actually drive.


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