April is Distracted Driving Month
In 2012, more than 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers and approximately 421,000 people were injured nationwide according to NHTSA.
Distracted driving is any activity that diverts a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety. Because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.
According to a study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute (VTTI), sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent of driving blind at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field.
The age group with the greatest proportion of distracted drivers is under age 20 according to NHTSA. Of this group, 11 percent of all drivers who died in a crash were reportedly distracted at the time of the crash.
For more information about distracted driving, visit www.distraction.gov.
It Can Wait Campaign
The texting and driving “It Can Wait” campaign is urging young people to put their phones away while driving. As part of this campaign, acclaimed filmmaker Werner Herzog created a public service announcement documentary titled From One Second to the Next (30 min) that will be viewed in schools across the country.
Driver Electronic Device Use in 2012
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has recently published its Traffic Safety Facts Research Note on mobile device use while driving. More information
A Moment of Silence - Distracted Walking
In addition to the distracted driving campaigns noted above, a “Moment of Silence” campaign and video have been created to help reduce injuries related to distracted walking. The movement asks walkers to take a Moment of Silence when you cross the street: “Devices Down and Head’s Up.” Join in and take the pledge.
Pedestrian Traffic Fatalities by State
The Governors Highway Safety Association has released a report that compares pedestrian fatalities by state, and considers reasons for the fatalities as well as ways to increase safety. More information