Distracted drivers cause 1 in 4 accidents

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Police say distracted drivers cause one out of four accidents.

And they're going to be on the lookout for those who don't keep their eyes on the road.

Dave Hawkinson of Fargo was on his bike training for a triathlon. and he never made it back home. His wife is urging drivers to always focus on the road.

A text message changed Amy Miller Hawkinson's life forever.

"The driver was texting all along the way and didn't see Dave until after he heard the sound." - Amy Miller Hawkinson, Dave's Wife

Dave Hawkinson was hit by a distracted driver north of Grandin during the summer of 2014. Dave and Amy were training for a triathlon and she was riding beside him earlier that day. Now she shares her story to create awareness.

"If there's any take away from this story it's for people just to put that phone away, put it in the backseat, you know, turn the sound off." - Hawkinson

Distracted driving is a state-wide problem, and in April, law enforcement agencies are placing more officers on the road to spot drivers not paying attention.

"It is so important to stay safe in your vehicle and keep other people safe." - NAT

Bismarck Police say officers will search for drivers looking down and with their hands off the wheel. He says it's very noticeable at red lights, when drivers think they're in the clear.

"People are stopped and they're just looking and manipulating their phone multiple times, not even paying attention if the light has changed to red or green." - Sgt. Tim Bleth, Bismarck Police

Bleth also says distracted drivers are of all ages and surprisingly, most violators are middle aged. He says it's worth the wait to respond to a message, and suggests drivers pull over before sending or looking at their phones.

A distracted driving fine can cost 100 dollars.

Dave's wife Amy says she thinks distracted driving is an addiction that needs to be stopped.