- Plan ahead:
- Put your phone out of reach while you are driving so you are not tempted to check your messages.
- Mute your phone while in the car – many phones now have a “distraction free” setting that activates when it senses movement.
- Enter your destinations address into your GPS before leaving.
- Eat your meal either in your car or in the restaurant, not while you are driving.
- Get up earlier in the morning so you are not tempted to do last minute preparations (hair, make-up, clothing) while driving.
- Speak up whenever you see a loved one not practicing good driving practices.
- On September 30, 2009, President Obama issued an executive order prohibiting federal employees from texting while driving on government business or with government equipment.
- On September 17, 2010, the Federal Railroad Administration banned cell phone and electronic device use of employees on the job.
- On October 27, 2010, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration enacted a ban that prohibits commercial vehicle drivers from texting while driving.
- In 2011, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration and the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration banned all hand-held cell phone use by commercial drivers and drivers carrying hazardous materials.
- From 2010 to 2013, NHTSA evaluated the Distracted Driving Demonstration Projects. These projects increased police enforcement of distracted driving laws and increased awareness of distracted driving using radio advertisements, news stories, and similar media. After the projects were complete, observed driver cell phone use fell from 4.1% to 2.7% in California, 6.8% to 2.9% in Connecticut, 4.5% to 3.0% in Delaware, and 3.7% to 2.5% in New York.
- In April of 2014, NHTSA began their annual “U Drive. U Text. U Pay.” campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.
NHTSA provides campaign materials for state and local law enforcement:
In 2016, 3,450 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver.
In 2015, 391,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
Answer: A non-driving activity that takes your eyes off the road, takes your hands off the wheel and/or takes your mind off what you are doing (driving).
Trying to make or receive a call, texting, eating, putting on make-up, reading, looking at your GPS, lack of sleep.
Young adult and teen drivers
- Drivers under the age of 20 have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.
- In 2017 9% of all teen motor vehicle crash deaths involved distracted driving.
- CDC’s national Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS) monitors health-risk behaviors among high school students, including texting or emailing while driving. Recent YRBSS findings include:
- In 2017, 42% of high school students who drove in the past 30 days reported sending a text or email while driving.
- Students who reported frequent texting while driving were:
- Less likely to wear a seatbelt.
- More likely to ride with a driver who had been drinking.
- More likely to drink and drive.