Federal Campaign Against Distracted Driving Kicks Off with Awareness Month
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and this year, the US Department of Transportation kicks off the country’s first ever anti-distracted driving advertising campaign.
“This campaign puts distracted driving on par with our efforts to fight drunk driving or to encourage seat belt use,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said. “Across the country, we’re putting distracted drivers on notice: If you’re caught texting while driving, the message you receive won’t be from your cell phone, but from law enforcement — U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) joins the DOT in its efforts.
The $8.5 million campaign will run national advertising to alert drivers to the coinciding national distracted driving crackdown, which will run between April 10th and April 15th. Law enforcement officers will use both traditional and new strategies to bust distracted drivers.
“National campaigns like ‘Click It or Ticket’ and local efforts like ‘Phone in One Hand. Ticket in the Other’ show that combining good laws with effective enforcement and strong public education campaigns can — and do — change unsafe driving behaviors,” said NHTSA Acting Administrator David Friedman. “We will continue to work with our federal, state, and local partners to urge drivers to put down electronic devices and focus on the task of driving.”
The NHTSA estimates that 3,328 people were killed and an estimated 421,000 were injured in accidents caused by distracted driving in 2012 alone.
Currently, 43 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the US Virgin Islands all ban distracted driving with phones in some form, especially texting and driving. South Carolina is one of the few states that does not have a statewide ban on texting and driving, although several counties have passed bans locally.
“Sometimes we have to be shocked into recognizing reality. And the reality is distracted driving is not safe,” Foxx said.
Distracted Driving in South Carolina
Distracted driving includes:
- talking on a cell phone
- eating and drinking
- talking to passengers
- grooming or putting on makeup
- reading books, newspapers, or even a map
- using a PDA or navigation system
- watching a video or playing on a computer or tablet
- playing with the radio, a CD or an iPod
It’s a common occurrence to see distracted drivers cruising down South Carolina roads and interstates. Whether the distraction is eating, putting on makeup, talking on a cellphone, or even just daydreaming, the effects of distracted driving can lead to an accident, resulting in life altering and even deadly consequences.
The statistics on distracted driving nationwide are staggering:
- 20 percent of crashes which resulted in an injury involved a report of distracted driving
- of the deaths in distracted related driving accidents, 995 involved a report that the driver was using a cell phone
- in 2009, 5,474 people were killed on US roadways and an estimated additional 448, 000 were injured in crashes caused by distracted driving
The Strom Law Firm Helps Those Injured by Distracted Drivers
If you have been injured by a distracted driver, the South Carolina accident attorneys at the Strom Law Firm, L.L.C. will fight for fair compensation for your injuries. Our South Carolina car accident lawyers are prepared to fight for compensation in the courtroom and will defend your right to compensation for your past and future medical bills, lost wages and future earnings, your pain and suffering, and, in the event of a fatal car accident, even wrongful death. Our attorneys offer free, confidential consultations to discuss the facts of your personal injury case for distracted driving, so contact us today. 803.252.4800.