Posted by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration
As National Distracted Driving Awareness month draws to a close, the Department of Transportation wants to remind drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. In 2015, distracted driving killed 3,477 people and injured 391,000.
To help raise awareness of the potentially tragic outcomes of texting and driving, NHTSA is hosting a Tweet Up on Friday, April 28, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to spread the message about the dangers of distracted driving. People can follow along using the hashtag #JustDrive, and should feel free to mention @NHTSAgov.
The dangers of distracted driving couldn’t be more evident. If you read or send a text while driving, on average, you take your eyes off the road for five seconds. In those five seconds, a vehicle moving at 55 miles per hour travels the length of a football field. In an instant, you could kill yourself, a loved one, or a total stranger.
Another frightening reality--at any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving, a number that has held steady since 2010 (NOPUS). That’s a lot of distracted drivers. Not surprisingly, the percentage of drivers text-messaging or visibly manipulating handheld devices increased from 1.7 percent in 2013 to 2.2 percent in 2014. Since 2007, young drivers (age 16 to 24) have been observed manipulating electronic devices at higher rates than older drivers (NHTSA).
In today’s world of constant connectivity and instant responses, it can be a challenge to put down the cell phone. However, the dangers of distracted driving are too great. No text or call is worth endangering a life. If a call or text must be answered, find a safe place to pull over and park the vehicle before answering. Smarter, safer driving starts now. Before starting the car, drivers should turn off the cell phone and put it out of reach so as not to be tempted by it. Recommit to safe driving and remember to #JustDrive.