MSP Warns Against Distracted Driving During Busy Holiday Weekend

"Well I was coming across heading into Cadillac,” said Theresa Parzych.

That’s — when it happened.

“We had a collision,” she said.

Friday marks the start of a busy weekend.

“Fourth of July is going to create a lot more traffic,” Trooper Patrick Pennoni said. “Lots going on in this part of the state with the Cherry Fest in Traverse City, things going on here in Cadillac.”

Two avoidable problems when it comes to accidents during holiday weekends are cell phone use…

“Everybody’s got a phone these days and everybody’s on their phones,” he said.

And drunk driving.

“Get to where you’re going and have a good time … drink when you get there,” he said.

While Theresa says neither factored into her collision at around noon today — she recognizes distracted driving is a major issue whether it’s a holiday or not.

“On any given day it’s hard to get across 115,” she said. “Ya know, so then ya add on the traffic for the holiday and then if you’re busy on your phone or something like that then it just makes it 20 times worse.”

The penalty – potentially over 15 years in prison and thousands of dollars.

 “It’s definitely not worth it to take that risk and take that chance because then you gotta live with that the rest of your life, too,” Trooper Pennoni said.

And it can all happen within a blink of an eye.

“It only takes a split second to ruin your life or someone else’s,” he said.

So Theresa is encouraging drivers to be extra cautious so they don’t have to go through what she went through today, or worse.

“You need to be watching everything look both ways and look again,” she said. 

State police will have extra patrols out this weekend to ensure drivers stay safe.

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