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April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month
April 16, 2013
In 2010, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution designating the month of April as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The resolution encouraged all Americans to consider the lives of others on the road and put an end to distracted driving. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,331 people were killed, and an additional 387,000 people were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver during 2011.
We have said it before but it deserves repeating - distracted driving has been shown to be a significant contributing factor in many law enforcement-involved vehicle collisions. The use of mobile data computers, GPS, speed radars, in-car cameras, and cell phones while driving can each place an officer at greater risk of being involved in a collision.
The National Safety Council (NSC) has just released a white paper describing the risks of using a cell phone while driving. Entitled “Understanding the distracted brain: Why driving while using hands-free cell phones is risky behavior,” the paper addresses the lack of understanding about the dangers of cell phones and hands-free devices. It includes references to more than 30 scientific studies and reports describing how using a cell phone, hands-free or handheld, requires the brain to multitask – a process it cannot do safely while driving. Cell phone use while driving not only impairs driving performance, but it also weakens the brain’s ability to capture driving cues. The white paper is available for free download on the NSC Website.
Watch your News Alerts because POST is putting the final touches on another “Did You Know?” SAFE Driving video on the topic of distracted driving. We expect it to be completed and available within the next few weeks.
Wear your seatbelt, watch your speed, and practice SAFE driving!
The SAFE Driving Campaign is a POST initiative focused on reducing fatal and serious injury law enforcement traffic collisions nationwide. For further information regarding the SAFE Driving Campaign, visit the SAFE Driving Campaign on the POST Website or contact:
Robert "R.C." Smith, POST Senior Consultant
Training Program Services Bureau