This month is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month — and for the first time ever, the federal government is spearheading a big, national, month-long publicity campaign to boost public awareness about the dangers of distractions while driving. This year’s campaign is being wrapped around the catch-phrase “U Drive. U Text. U Pay,” and it will run simultaneously with law enforcement campaigns around the country against using a phone while driving.
Millions of dollars ($8.5 million) are being spent this month for this big media campaign which is being touted as supporting the “… the first-ever national distracted driving high-visibility enforcement (HVE) crackdown,” running from April 10 to April 15 this year.
As part of this year’s campaign, several videos are being released to promote greater awareness of the dangers of car crashes and traffic deaths from distractions while driving on U.S. roads. Some are finding these videos surprisingly violent — but the intent behind them isn’t to shock so much as it is to break through to teens and others who may not understand how serious it is to text or talk while driving a car. (One of these videos can be viewed below.)
DISTRACTED DRIVING STATISTICS
- Ten percent of fatal crashes, 18 percent of injury crashes, and 16 percent of all motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2012 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
- In 2012, there were 3,328 people killed and an estimated additional 421,000 injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.
- Ten percent of all drivers 15 to 19 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crashes. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
- In 2012, there were 540 non-occupants killed in distraction-affected crashes.
To prevent distracted driving, motorists are urged by NHTSA to:
- Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive.
- Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example. Talk with your teens about responsible driving.
- Speak up when you are a passenger and your driver uses an electronic device while driving. Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the driving task.
- Always wear your seat belt. Seat belts are the best defense against other unsafe drivers.
VIOLENT VIDEO FROM APRIL 2014 U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY. CAMPAIGN BY NHTSA