BERWICK, COLUMBIA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — It’s no surprise distracted driving is dangerous and much too common on our roads as 400,000 people are injured annually in distraction-related crashes.

Awareness is what experts say is only part of the solution.

Police are called to car crashes like this every day. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says more than 90 percent of them are avoidable, including many caused by distracted driving.

“And it’s something that, you know, people readily admit to doing on a daily basis which is so frustrating because we all know how complex driving is and that we need to keep our eyes, our mind focused on the road and our hands on the wheel,” said Pam Shadel Fischer, Senior Director of External Engagement, Governors Highway Safety Association.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, at any given moment during daylight hours, more than 350,000 drivers are actively holding a cell phone to their ear, often resulting in injury-causing crashes.

“You’re being taken away from your life, your family, your career until you heal if you’re able to do so,” said Nurse Rebecca McHugh, RN, Berwick Hospital Center.

“It was because somebody made a decision to engage in a behavior that for all intents and purposes, everybody, most people recognize that this is dangerous but they think you know what, I can do it safely. I’m not the problem, it’s everybody else out there,” Fischer stated.

Fischer says what’s required is a culture change that starts by putting down your cell phone and stopping engaging in other distracting behaviors.

“We also need to as passengers in vehicles call out drivers when we see them doing unsafe things and say ‘hey, that’s not acceptable. My safety is just as much on the line as yours. Please stop doing that,” Fischer expressed.

Roads can also become safer thanks to technological advances in the automotive industry, helping drivers keep their eyes on the road.

General Motors is among automakers making changes to help reduce distracted driving crashes.

“We have features such as Apple Carplay and Android Auto which really enable, you know, safe use of your phone, hands-free,” said Tricia Morrow, Global Vehicle Safety Strategy Manager, General Motors.

Research has also led to active safety features like automatic emergency braking with forwarding collision alert and even driver monitoring systems in hands-free driving systems.

“And it’s systems like that, that may have some benefit in the future really helping to keep the driver’s attention on the road,” Morrow explained.

Research shows the risk of a driver crashing while using a handheld cell phone is nearly four times higher than if you don’t.

So far, Pennsylvania does not have a handheld ban law. To learn more about efforts to get such a law on the books, head to this website here.