Put Your Phone Away or Get Ready to Pay.
Distracted Drivers Beware of U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
For the past decade, distracted driving has taken the Nation’s roads by storm, endangering not only those who drive distracted, but also those drivers’ passengers, adjacent vehicle occupants, and nearby pedestrians. Distracted driving takes many forms: talking on or manipulating the phone, adjusting the radio, applying makeup, eating, or drinking can all distract a driver from the essential task of safe driving. However, texting is one of the most common, pervasive forms of distracted driving, and too many drivers are succumbing to this deadly—and illegal—habit. That’s why the Grand Isle County Sheriff’s Department is partnering with the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to raise awareness about the potentially deadly risks from texting while driving. From April 12 to 16, 2018, as part of the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. campaign, law enforcement will be watching closely for distracted drivers.
According to NHTSA, 3,450 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2016.
- In 2016, 9.2 percent of fatal crashes in 2016 were reported as distraction-related.
- Texting while driving has become an especially problematic trend among millennials. 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 since 2007.
- Nine percent of drivers 15 to 19 years old who were involved in fatal crashes were reported as being distracted at the time of the crash in 2016. This age group has the largest percentage of drivers who were distracted at the time of a fatal crash.
- Handheld cellphone use while driving is highest among 15- to 29-year-old drivers, but female drivers are most at-risk for being involved in a fatal crash involving a distracted driver.
- Female drivers with a cell phone have been more likely to be involved in fatal distracted-driving crashes as compared to male drivers every year since 2012.
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, 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 can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone in the trunk or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.