NHTSA Launches Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April
According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving has grown into a deadly epidemic in the United States. Distracted driving includes texting, setting your navigation, drinking, playing with the radio, shaving, applying makeup, rubber-necking, and other forms. Distracted driving is dangerous because it only takes a second or two to avoid a close call or deadly accident.
The NHTSA states that in 2019, distracted driving was responsible for 3,142 deaths, which was a 10% increase over 2018. Young drivers appear to be the most prone to engage in distractions while driving. According to research conducted by the NHTSA, drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 use handheld electronic devices while driving at a higher rate than older drivers. However, distracted driving affects all age groups.
April is the NHTSA’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the NHTSA is asking parents to review and discuss the following safety tips with their entire family:
- No Texting and Driving. If you must text, be sure to safely pull over and park the vehicle in a safe location to read and send a text message.
- Use a “designated texter.” Have a passenger read out loud your text message and answer your phone calls and text messages.
- Do not handle your cellphone while driving. Avoid the urge to use your phone. If need be, place your phone in the glove box, back seat, or trunk of the vehicle until you have reached your destination.
Distracted driving accidents often result in life-altering consequences. Tragically, many pedestrians are struck and killed in distracted driving accidents, and good people who made a simple mistake of texting while driving end up serving up to 15 years in prison. The NHTSA asks you to remind family and friends to avoid distracting driving. If the driver in your car is driving and texting, do not be afraid to ask them to stop and pay attention to their driving. The life you might save could be your own. Pledge to not drive distracted and share your pledge on social media using #JustDrive.
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