National Distracted Driving Month Launched to Raise Awareness of Risks

The U.S. Department of Transportation has launched the first ever national advertising and law enforcement campaign this month against distracted driving, as part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  

The anti-distracted driving campaign was announced in a press release and at a press conference by Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and David Friedman, acting director of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

The campaign is a response to years of increasing concerns involving the risks associated with distracted driving, linked primarily to the proliferation of electronic devices, such as smartphones with a variety of multimedia capabilities.

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“This campaign puts distracted driving on par with our efforts to fight drunk driving or to encourage seatbelt use,” Secretary Foxx said in the press release issued April 3. “Across the country, we’re putting distracted drivers on notice: If you’re caught texting while driving, the message you receive won’t be from your cell phone, but from law enforcement – U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”

The campaign involves $8.5 million in national advertising, and a national high-visibility law enforcement crackdown ran from April 10 to April 15.

According to federal officials, an estimated 3,328 people were killed and 421,000 injured due to crashes linked to distracted driving in 2012.

Law enforcement campaigns have been tested in California and Delaware and found to be effective, officials said. Both sates saw observed hand-held cell phone use drop by about a third after police issued thousands of tickets for violating cell phone use while driving laws.

Texting is currently illegal in 43 states, as well as D.C. and three U.S. territories. Some areas specifically ban cell phone use for young or novice drivers.

In January, a study in the New England Journal of Medicine found that texting or dialing on a cell phone are the distractions most likely to cause an accident for drivers between the ages of 15 and 20. The study also found that teens who text while driving were also more likely to engage in other risky behavior while behind the wheel.

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1 Comments

  • RebeccaApril 22, 2014 at 4:13 am

    I was in a car accident in 2007, a direct hit to the front left side of the car I was driving, by a woman who had just been drinking. I only lost that case due to the fact the very Vehicles set in place to help us Counsel, Medical, did not behave properly. I had a percutaneous disk procedure done during that time, which still Today swells at the top of my left shoulder into my neck area. I ha[Show More]I was in a car accident in 2007, a direct hit to the front left side of the car I was driving, by a woman who had just been drinking. I only lost that case due to the fact the very Vehicles set in place to help us Counsel, Medical, did not behave properly. I had a percutaneous disk procedure done during that time, which still Today swells at the top of my left shoulder into my neck area. I had x-rays done in November of 2012. While awaiting the x-ray, results on a trip in bumper to bumper traffic on the Freeway a 20 something year old texting while driving rear ended the vehicle, the impact was to the right side of the vehicle. During that impact I felt a little pop very lightly, as I lay back on the seat, to the upper right side of my neck which still bothers me. This new accident has made it near possible for me to get any kind of help from the Insurance Company. My Life has been turned upside down by this second accident and I am doing everything that I can to hold on to my sanity while dealing with this . The fact that the youngman admitted fault to me and told me that he would do everything to see that I get help and then to have the Insurance Companies deny me help is just truly devastating. Help!

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