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Distracted Driving
Distracted Driving

Click Here to View the CAPS Analysis of Distracted Driving in Alabama 2012-2016 Data

Distracted driving from texting and other causes resulted in 3,477 deaths and 391,000 injuries in 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. During daylight hours approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones while driving, which creates enormous potential for deaths and injuries on America's roadways. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes. We'd like to encourage you to continually talk to teens, and everyone else, to spread the message that distracted driving is dangerous, in all forms, whether it be texting, eating, or even reading social media, and must be stopped."

The federal agencies involved with traffic safety are putting special emphasis on distracted driving. There are many distractions both within and outside of the vehicle that can cause drivers to take their eyes from the road long enough to put themselves and other roadway users in serious jeopardy.  Generally distracted driving enforcement concentrates on those distractions that are self imposed by drivers, such as texting, the operation of a cell phone or other electronic device, eating or putting on makeup.  A recent study was performed by the UA Center for Advanced Public Safety (CAPS) that identified a number of interesting aspects of this serious problem.  The study, which concentrated on electronic device distractions, discovered a number of interesting facts with regard to this type of distractive driving.

To read the study, Click Here.

For more information, visit www.distraction.gov.
Majority of Drivers Do Not Believe Texting While Driving is Dangerous
U.S.News: Sixty-eight percent of people say they need a lot of convincing to believe in the dangers of texting and driving. 

The Society of Risk Analysis reports that people who text and drive are six times more likely to be involved in a car accident. However, a study published in Risk Analysis: An International Journal found that despite evidence that texting while driving is dangerous, the "fear of missing out" and separation anxiety prevents people from following the law and abstaining from using their phones behind the wheel.

Click Here to Read More.

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Seconds Can Make A Difference... #JustDrive
In 2016, distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives -- an 8% increase from 2014. Tragically, texting while driving has become especially problematic among millennials, particularly female drivers who have been more likely to be involved in a fatal crash every year since 2012.  

Whether you are on the phone, texting, checking your hair, or reaching down for a burger and fries, you are robbing yourself of seconds that can be the difference between a close call and a deadly crash. 

Regardless of the law in your state, you should be asking yourself, "What can I do? And how do I keep my family safe?”

Distracted Driving Awareness Month is a great time to reflect on the choices that you make while behind the wheel and to take action in your community to help stop distracted driving.

              graphic update

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April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month
U Drive - U Text - U Pay is a campaign centered on aiding law enforcement officers in their efforts to keep distracted drivers off the road. Distracted driving is a first offense in many states and continues to gain recognition across the nation as a deadly problem.

This campaign is targeted to men and women 18 to 34 years old with a skew toward women.

Use these law enforcement campaign materials to raise awareness in your community about the consequences of texting while driving.

Click Here to Read More

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Driver Electronic Device Use in 2016
According to NHTSA The percentage of passenger vehicle driver handheld cell phone use decreased from 3.8 percent in 2015 to 3.3 percent in 2016; this was a statistically significant decrease.

Click Here to Read the Full Report

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Alabaster Teen Killed in I-65 S, Crash Was Texting While Driving
WIAT CBS: Less than a week after 17-year-old Camryn Callaway lost her life in a wreck on I-65 S just past the Pelham "tank farm" exit 242, Pelham Police have confirmed to CBS 42 what caused the crash: texting while driving. Callaway, a senior at Thompson High School, was killed when her vehicle ran into the back of an 18 wheeler last Thursday night. Her family and friends are heartbroken, but are speaking out to CBS 42 in the hopes that Camryn's tragic death will serve as a warning to others.

Click Here to Read the Article and Watch the Video

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2018 National Distracted Driving Enforcement

2018 National Distracted Driving Enforcement (April 12-16, 2018) 

In recognition of April's National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, NHTSA has planned a number of activities. We are also kicking off its national highly visible enforcement campaign for distracted driving: U Drive. U Text. U Pay., which is supported by English and Spanish language television, radio, and digital advertising.

NHTSA has also developed a robust social media strategy designed to raise public awareness about the consequences of texting and driving. The focus is on the idea that "If you're texting, you're not driving." We anticipate that this message will engage the target audience of men and women 18-34 (slightly skewed toward women) with creative and persuasive messaging on NHTSA social media channels and their media partners.

Paid advertising will run April 9-16, 2018. 

Currently available:
Click Here for 2018 campaign materials
Click Here for 2018 PEAK Enforcement Kit

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Crash Risk of Cell Phone Use While Driving
AAA: Crash Risk of Cell Phone Use While Driving: A Case-Crossover Analysis of Naturalistic Driving Data (January 2018)

Click Here to Read More

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Smartphone Use Is Probably Behind the Spike in Driving Deaths
Slate.com: The U.S. has seen a 14-percent spike in roadway fatalities over the past two years. It’s also seen the biggest back-to-back increase in motor vehicle–related death rates per mile driven in more than 50 years and 37,461 lives lost by drivers, passengers, cyclists, and pedestrians in 2016 alone. What’s to blame? Many expertswriters, and organizations are pointing to smartphone use and other tech-related distractions while driving as major culprits. Official statistics from the U.S. Department of Transportation seemingly counter this claim, attributing only about 9 percent of traffic deaths to distracted driving in general and far fewer to phone use specifically. In fact, the DOT stats suggest that even that minuscule percentage attributed to phone use has dropped over the past year.

Click Here  to Read More

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Risk of Distracted Driving Predicted by Age, Gender, Personality and Driving Frequency
Science Codex: New research identifies age, gender, personality and how often people drive as potential risk factors for becoming distracted while driving. Young men, extroverted or neurotic people, and people who drive more often were more likely to report being distracted, while older women and those who felt that they could control their distracted behavior were less likely to report distraction. Published today in Frontiers in Psychology, this is the first study of how personal traits affect driver distraction. The study also proposes future directions for interventions to reduce distracted driving.

Click Here to Read the Full Report

This research tracks very closely to that based on crash data from Alabama.  Click Here to View the CAPS Analysis of Distracted Driving in Alabama 2012-2016 Data.

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Visual and Cognitive Demands of Using In-Vehicle Infotainment Systems
Click Here to Read AAA's Report on Visual and Cognitive Demands of Using In-Vehicle Infotainment Systems

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Smartphones Are Killing Americans, But Nobody’s Counting
Bloomberg: Amid a historic spike in U.S. traffic fatalities, federal data on the danger of distracted driving are getting worse.



Click Here to Read the Full Story

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Apple is Giving the iPhone a New Feature that Shuts off Notifications while Driving
Business Insider: Apple's iPhones will soon be getting a much-desired new safety feature intended to cut down on distracted driving.

When the company releases its new iOS 11 operating system for its smartphones later this year, the software will come with a "Do Not Disturb While Driving" mode. The new feature will detect when you're driving and turn off all notifications. You won't even be able to get to your homescreen to open any apps until you're done driving.

Click Here to Read More

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Distracted Driving 2015 Facts
NHTSA: Ten percent of fatal crashes, 15 percent of injury crashes, and 14 percent of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2015 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.

Click Here to Read More

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Why Drivers Use Cell Phones and Support Legislation to Restrict This Practice
Mountain-Plains Consortium: A study was conducted to investigate why people talk on a cell phone while driving and why they also support legislation to restrict this practice.

Click Here to View the Study


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Newser - Texting on Road Impairs our 'Sixth Sense'
Newser.com discusses the research from Scientific Reports, particularly drivers who are 'emotionally' or 'absent-mindedly' distracted.

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Distracted Driving Comes with a Cost: Your Life
Drivers know about the dangers of drunk driving and driving without a seat belt. Unfortunately, a relatively new danger has crept into the nation’s driving habits: distracted driving.In 2015, distracted driving killed 3,477 people and injured 391,000.

Click Here to Read More

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Distraction.gov Website
Distracted driving is a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. In 2014 alone, 3,179 were killed in distracted driving crashes.

Click Here to View More About the Official US Government Website for Distracted Driving

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NHTSA Proposes ‘Driver Mode’ in Devices to Curb Behind-the-Wheel Distractions
ASSHTO Journal: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in new voluntary guidelines, is encouraging makers of cellphones and other mobile devices to build in a "driver mode" function that could automatically block certain functions for motor vehicle drivers in order to curb behind-the-wheel distractions.

"NHTSA has long encouraged drivers to put down their phones and other devices, and just drive," said NHTSA Administrator Mark Rosekind. "With driver distraction one of the factors behind the rise of traffic fatalities, we are committed to working with the industry to ensure that mobile devices are designed to keep drivers' eyes where they belong — on the road."


Click Here to Read More

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Dangers of Distracted Driving
WSFA: According to the annual AAA foundation traffic safety culture index 80 percent of drivers cite distraction as a serious problem and a behavior that makes them feel less safe on the road. Nearly half of all people surveyed say they feel less safe than they did five years ago because of distracted driving.

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Why Hundreds are Killed in Crashes in Parking Lots and Garages Every Year

CBS News: The National Safety Council finds as many as two-thirds of drivers may be pulling into shopping centers distracted. One in five accidents happen in parking lots.

The leading culprit for distraction is the cellphone, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave. Be it making calls or texting while driving in a parking lot, researchers say the slower speeds give people a false sense of security. Even though people tend to drive a lot slower in a place like this, the consequences of distraction and other driving mistakes can be deadly.

Click Here to Read More

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Traffic Safety Facts: Distracted Driving 2012
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.

Click Here to Read More

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Biggest Spike in Traffic Deaths in 50 Years? Blame Apps
The New York Times: The messaging app Snapchat allows motorists to post photos that record the speed of the vehicle. The navigation app Waze rewards drivers with points when they report traffic jams and accidents. Even the game Pokémon Go has drivers searching for virtual creatures on the nation’s highways.

When distracted driving entered the national consciousness a decade ago, the problem was mainly people who made calls or sent texts from their cellphones. The solution then was to introduce new technologies to keep drivers’ hands on the wheel. Innovations since then — car Wi-Fi and a host of new apps — have led to a boom in internet use in vehicles that safety experts say is contributing to a surge in highway deaths.

After steady declines over the last four decades, highway fatalities last year recorded the largest annual percentage increase in 50 years. And the numbers so far this year are even worse. In the first six months of 2016, highway deaths jumped 10.4 percent, to 17,775, from the comparable period of 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

News People and Police Officials are blaming a lot of the increase in fatalities on distracted driving.


Click Here to Read More

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Pokemon GO Distracted Driving
This one (not driving while playing) is obvious. You already don’t text and drive, so why would you want to do something even more distracting while operating a car? Washington state’s Department of Transportation has already released an official warning about Pokémon-catching while driving, and more states could follow suit. Plus, the game is specifically designed for you to discover new Pokémon and Pokéstops on foot—not while speeding through a neighborhood.

LA Times: 10,000 instances of distracted driving a day are due to 'Pokemon Go' - Click Here

Forbes' 5 Important Safety Tips for 'Pokemon GO' - Click Here

Click Here for tips to help you stay safe while playing Pokémon GO

Driving While Distracted: It's not just texting anymore - CNN

Distracted Driving from Pokemon Go - Mashable Article



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What Are Your Reason For Using A Phone While Driving?
                        

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Feds: Ignore that Post About Banning Driver Cellphone Use
Click Here to View AP's Article that reports some recent NHTSA activities in this regard.

Public Safety Policy: Texting While Driving in 2016
Capitol Research: In 2007, Washington became the first state to ban texting while driving. Nine years later, 46 states and the District of Columbia have passed bans. Driver distraction is a leading factor in many crashes and texting is one of the most common distractions.

Click Here to Read More



UA Promotes: Be Alert While Driving
The University of Alabama Office of Risk Management encourages faculty and staff to be cautious and alert while driving on campus as the University welcomes students, parents and other guests for the fall semester. The level of distraction due to texting, talking, playing games on smartphones and limited hearing due to the use of ear buds is a growing problem. Also, many of our new students and guests are not familiar with campus traffic patterns, marked crosswalks, etc., so the lack of familiarity and level of inattention warrants additional caution. Remember, texting while driving is against the law in Alabama.

Distracted Driving May Lead to Traffic Signal Delays
More often than not, distracted driving is the culprit for these kinds of delays at Austin's traffic signals.

Read the Full Article Here

                

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Watch As Motorist Playing Pokémon Go Crashes Into Patrol Car
                       
                                   

Click Here to Read The AL.com Article

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State Trooper Honored for Alabama's First Texting while Driving Manslaughter Conviction

AL.com: An Alabama State Trooper was recently awarded for his investigation into a crash two years ago that led to what a prosecutor believes is the first manslaughter conviction based on the state's texting and driving law.

Trooper Bruce Irvin recently received the citation from Alabama Law Enforcement Agency Secretary Stan Stabler, according to the agency's Twitter and Facebook pages. Trooper Irvin is assigned to Highway Patrol's Mobile Post.

                                    bruce irvin.jpg
Read More Here

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Traffic Safety Facts: Distracted Driving 2014
NHTSA: 10% of fatal crashes, 18% of injury crashes, and 16% of all police-reported motor vehicle traffic crashes in 2014 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.



Read More Facts Here

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Close Call from Someone Who Was Texting while Driving
True story from AL.com explaining how she almost died from texting while driving.

Read Her Full Report Here

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