Routing safer roadways via nationwide distracted driving laws is one solution that addresses the thousands of unnecessary fatalities and injuries that occur each year. The advent of technology in the form of a new prevention app is another. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The National Safety Council (NSC) is calling on legislators to create nationwide comprehensive distracted driving laws.
The National Safety Council reports that the latest statistics show motor vehicle fatalities are up 6% from 2015. More than 40,000 people were killed on our nation’s roadways last year, and distracted driving is a major contributor. Therefore, NSC is urging legislators across the country to enact comprehensive laws to further prevent distracted driving injuries and deaths on our roadways.
DISTRACTED DRIVING - A PREVENTABLE PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUE
April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month and this year’s theme is “Just Drive.” The annual awareness campaign is a united effort to recognize and eliminate preventable deaths from distracted driving.
Distracted driving is a public health issue that affects us all, yet each death is 100% preventable. From cell phones to dashboard infotainment systems to evolving voice command features – all pose a threat to our safety. Just one second of your attention is all takes to change a life forever.
A recent State of Safety report by The National Safety Council states that significant work at the legislative level still needs to be done to address distracted driving in the U.S. The report grades states on actions and policies they have taken – or not taken – to reduce risk for all residents (including whether they have a texting ban for all drivers, as well as whether they have a total cellphone ban for teens and novice drivers).
States such as Connecticut, New York and Wisconsin are leading the way when it comes to instituting distracted driving measures. Four states – Florida, Arizona, Montana and Missouri – lack a law in either area, and 16 states have addressed only one of the two areas. Since the report was completed last year, New Mexico, Texas and Iowa have joined 27 other states and D.C. in passing legislation in both areas.
THE ROUTE TO DISTRACTED DRIVING-FREE ROADWAYS
One recommended solution comes from the NSC, which believes a full ban on electronic device use behind the wheel is the best way to keep drivers safe.
Another and alternative solution stems from the technology sector in the form of a new app called KarChing — soon to be available in beta. The app, which initially targets teenage drivers, incentivizes young drivers for safe, phone-free driving. Parents, teens and the insurance company work together to reward phone-free driving and safe phone habits.
Modern technology has definitely Socially Sparked ® our world for the better. However, sometimes it creates new issues like unnecessary fatalities and injuries due to distracted driving. Fortunately this issue is 100 percent preventable. So for now, observe Distracted Driving Month and ‘Just Drive.’ — Abbe is Socially Sparked! Tweet @sosparkednews & @asparks01