NPD: April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

Don't text and drive! 

From the Norwich Police Department Facebook page

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the Norwich Police Department is joining forces with other law enforcement agencies across the country to intensify enforcement of state and local texting and distracted-driving laws, and to raise awareness about the dangers—and legal implications—of distracted driving. This annual campaign is part of the national U Drive. U Text. U Pay campaign that runs from April 11 to April 15, 2019.

According to NHTSA, between 2012-2017, nearly 20,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver. In fact, there were 3,166 people killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers in 2017. This means that nearly one-tenth of all fatal crashes that year were reported as distraction-affected.

Over the years, millennials have become some of the biggest texting-while-driving offenders, also using their cell phones to talk and to scroll through social media while behind the wheel. According to NHTSA, young drivers 16- to 24-years-old have been observed using handheld electronic devices at higher rates than older drivers since 2007. In fact, in 2017, 8 percent of people killed in teen (15-19) driving crashes died when teen drivers were distracted at the times of the crashes.
An analysis by the AAA Foundation of 2009-2012 data found that while more than 80 percent of drivers believed it was completely unacceptable for a motorist to text behind the wheel, more than a third of those same drivers admitted to reading text messages while operating a passenger motor vehicle themselves.

Drive Safe Every Trip

The Norwich Police Department and NHTSA urge you to put your phone down when you get behind the wheel. If you need to text, then pull over and do not drive. If you’re driving, follow these steps for a phone-free experience:

• 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 can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Put the cell phone out of reach in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of the vehicle until you arrive at your destination.Drive safe!

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POSTED: 04.12.2019
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Contact me at: norwichobserver@gmail.com 


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