NHTSA Campaign Suggests Enlisting a Designated Texter When Driving
With a goal of improving the safety of our highways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) announced the organization’s newest campaign, “Stop the Texts, Stop the Wrecks.” Focused on eliminating cell phone use while driving, the organization hopes to educate teens, and the rest of the driving public, that texting and driving is a deadly combination.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), nearly 25% of all crashes, or approximately 1.3 million auto accidents, each year can be attributed to cell phone usage while driving. The NSC also reports distractions now join alcohol and speeding as leading factors in all automobile accidents.
NHTSA offers the following suggestions to help drivers stop texting while driving:
- Out of sight, out of mind. Place your phone somewhere that you can’t reach it and won’t be tempted to get to it while driving.
- Find your app. Download one of several safety apps that will prevent you from texting while driving.
- Silence is golden. Turn the sound off on the phone when driving so you won’t grab it to read the latest message.
- Designate a texter. Have your passenger respond to your text messages.
The NHTSA campaign website offers 30 facts related to texting and driving. Some of the most disturbing facts include: distracted driving is the number one killer of teenagers; using a cell phone slows reaction time as much as that of a legally drunk driver; drivers using hand-held cell phones are four times more likely to be in an injury accident; 77% of teen drivers believe they can safely text and drive at the same time. The website also offers video clips showing the tragic consequences of drivers taking their eyes off the road long enough to text.
The NHTSA reports that car accidents account for 35% of teen deaths with approximately 5,000 teenagers killed every year.
The state of New York made texting while driving a primary traffic offense in July, meaning police can now pull over drivers specifically for texting and driving. Texting while driving leads to accidents – accidents that are entirely preventable. Our Binghamton attorneys encourage adults and teens to follow all NY driving laws and to focus on arriving safely at your destination when behind the wheel.
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