April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the US Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is kicking things off with a compelling video showing just how easily a vicious accident can occur when a driver is momentarily distracted with a cell phone.
According to Mashable on April 7, the video “draws you in with a slice-of-life scene featuring a few teens laughing and chatting in a car. The driver receives a text, looks at her phone and blows past a stop sign — then, a truck broadsides her car. The action plays out in excruciatingly slow motion.”
Thousands of people, teenage drivers especially, die every year in crashes related to distracted driving. Statistics carried on distraction.gov say that seventy-one percent of young people say they have sent a text while driving.
The video is attempting to instill some shock value, while at the same time highlighting the need for law enforcement to be vigilant in writing tickets for cell phone use.
“That's why cops are out looking for people who text while driving, and that's why they write tickets – to save lives,” says the video’s message. “Remember, U Drive. U Text. U Pay.”
Currently, 12 states prohibit all drivers from using handheld cell phones, while 43 other states have specific laws on the books that ban drivers from text messaging.
The Governors Highway Safety Association website lists each state and its cell phone laws.
Studies show that the average amount of time drivers take their eyes off of the road in order to text is five seconds, says textinganddrivingsafety.com. If a vehicle is traveling at 55 mph, then you will have driven the length of a football field without looking up once to see where you are going.
Please pass this important video on.