U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
U DRIVE. U TEXT. U PAY.
Distracted driving has become a national epidemic – endangering passengers, adjacent vehicle occupants, motorcyclists, bicyclists, and pedestrians. While distracted driving can take many other forms – adjusting the radio, putting on makeup, eating, or interacting with other passengers – texting has become one of the most common, pervasive forms of distracted driving, and too many drivers are succumbing to this deadly, and often illegal, habit.
- Between 2012 and 2018, nearly 23,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver.
- According to NHTSA, there were 2,841 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2018. While this reflects a 12-percent decrease from 2017, there are still thousands of preventable deaths happening on our roads. In the last 7 years, 9.3 percent of all fatal crashes involved a distracted driver.
- Texting while driving has become an especially problematic trend among younger drivers. In fact, in 2018, 8 percent of people killed in teen (15-19) driving crashes died when the teen drivers were distracted at the time of the crash.
- According to NHTSA, young drivers 16 to 24 years old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers have since 2007.
Safety Tips for Driving
- If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.
- Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
- Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving. Cell phone use is habit-forming.
- Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
Put Your Phone Away or Pay Up
- When you get behind the wheel, be an example to your family and friends by putting your phone away. Just because other people do it doesn’t mean texting and driving is “normal” behavior. Instead, it’s a selfish, deadly and, oftentimes, illegal activity that could kill you, a loved one, a friend, or a stranger.
- In 48 States, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, texting while driving is an illegal, ticketable offense. You could end up paying a hefty fine, and get points on your license.
- If you see someone texting while driving, speak up. If your friends text while driving, tell them to stop. Listen to your passengers: If they catch you texting while driving and tell you to put your phone away, put it down.
- Remember, when you get behind the wheel, put your phone away. U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
For more information, visit www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov.