DOVER, DE (April 4, 2022) — The Delaware Office of Highway Safety is joining local and state law enforcement agencies across Delaware from April 1-29 to conduct high visibility enforcement and support several mobilization initiatives during the National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Distracted driving is one of the fastest-growing safety issues on Delaware roads today. Increasing trends in fatalities show that our roads are the most dangerous they’ve been in years.
Distracted driving crashes are often under reported. But data shows that in Delaware, between 2017 and 2021, 180 people were seriously injured or died in crashes involving distracted drivers. Last year, distracted driving was a contributing factor in 8,161 crashes.
OHS is participating in the nationwide Connect-to-Disconnect (C2D) distracted driving enforcement and awareness initiative in collaboration with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) U Drive. U Text. U Pay. This high-visibility enforcement effort takes place on April 7 to remind drivers about the dangers and consequences of distracted driving.
The Delaware Office of Highway Safety continues to support the Delaware State Police “Drive to Save Lives” initiative on April 8-9. This mobilization brings together multiple law enforcement agencies from Florida to Maine to focus patrols up and down the I-95 corridor, aimed at keeping motorists safe and reducing fatalities.
In addition to the increased enforcement and awareness initiatives, Governor John Carney will be signing a proclamation on April 7th at 1:30 p.m. at Legislative Hall in Dover, to designate April as “Distracted Driving Awareness Month.” This proclamation not only generates awareness but also puts real, potentially life-saving action behind it that benefits Delaware drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Delawareans are reminded during “Distracted Driving Awareness Month” that they should drive distraction-free year-round.
Drivers are encouraged to make the commitment to avoid distractions behind the wheel by using the “Do Not Disturb” tool on their smartphones. This tool allows a person to set up automated responses to calls and texts that they receive while driving. Almost all smartphones offer this feature, yet many people don’t realize they have it.
We use our cell phones for everything: planning, working, taking pictures, using social media, and so much more. For many, these small, complex devices are essential to everyday life. Unfortunately, texting and scrolling through social media while driving are huge issues on today’s roads. This practice is dangerous and illegal in most states.
“While we generally think of distracted driving as texting or talking on a cell phone, it can also take many other forms, such as adjusting the GPS, grooming, eating, or even interacting with other passengers,” said Kimberly Chesser, Director, Office of Highway Safety. “If your attention is anywhere other than the road, you’re driving distracted, and that makes you a dangerous driver.”
See our new “Distracted Driving” video here The Terrible Cost of Ketchup – YouTube
Drive Safe Every Trip
The Delaware Office of Highway Safety and NHTSA urge drivers to put their phones away when behind the wheel. If you are the driver, follow these steps for a safe driving 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.
- Ask your passenger to be 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 is habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your phone in your vehicle’s trunk, glove box, or back seat until you arrive at your destination.
For more information on the campaign, statistics, and education on pedestrian safety, visit www.ArriveAliveDE.com/Be-Alert.