According to the National Safety Council, 21% of 2012 crashes (or 1.2 million) involved talking on handheld or hands-free cell phones. The non-profit advocates that “hands-free is not risk-free” and as such, plans to recognize this upcoming April 2014 as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The National Safety Council urges American drivers to not only stop using cell phones while driving, but to also inform others about the dangers of cell phone distracted driving.
How the Awareness Month Began
National Distracted Driving Awareness Month was first introduced as a resolution in 2010 and passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on March 23, 2010. The resolution was introduced by former Rep. Betsy Markey (D-CO) in honor of 9-year-old Erica Forney – who was killed by a distracted driver in Fort Collins, Colorado in late 2008. Shelly Forney, Erica’s mother, continues to raise awareness for the cause as founding board member of Focus Driven – Advocates for Cell-free Driving. According to organization, although cell phone use is the most prominent among distracted drivers, the public should be aware that distracted driving includes more than just cell phone use. The organization lists these other distractions as contributing to distracted driving:
- Dialing a phone number.
- Playing a game.
- Text messaging.
- Reading email or viewing social media accounts.
- Surfing the Internet.
- Plugging a cell phone into a charger.
Image Source: http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-involved/index.html
How You Can Get Involved
The National Safety Council hopes individuals get involved in Distracted Driving Awareness Month to protect not only themselves, but the ones they love. The Council suggests everyone take a pledge to stop using their phone behind the wheel. Everyone is encouraged to share their pledge on social media channels and to share all 2014 campaign materials, including posters and fact sheets, with friends and families.
To get involved and find out more about Distracted Driving Awareness Month, please click the following link: http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/Distracted_Driving/Pages/DDAM.aspx
To find out more about Focus Driven, please click the following link: http://www.focusdriven.org/
To find out more about distracted driving and driver safety on our website, please click the following links:
- “Study Finds No Benefit in Voice to Text Apps” – https://hartlaw.com/study-finds-benefit-voice-text-apps/
- “US Dot Moves Forward with V-2-V Communication” – https://hartlaw.com/us-dot-moves-forward-v-2-v-communication/
- “Novice Teen Drivers 8 Times More Likely to Have Fatal Crash” – https://hartlaw.com/novice-teen-drivers-8-times-likely-fatal-crash/
- “Texting a Friend Who is Driving? Court Say You May be Liable for Crash” – https://hartlaw.com/texting-friend-driving-court-says-may-liable-crash/