The NHTSA’s Campaign Against Distracted Driving

Driver behind a truck

We are all aware of the dangers of distracted driving. It is less clear, however, whether people are aware of just how dangerous distracted driving can be. After all, what some consider to be an innocent and quick glance down to read a text message can put everyone on the road at risk. That is why states have continued to pursue legislative efforts to curb the persistent problem of distracted driving. In California, for instance, it is illegal to hold a mobile phone in your hand while you are driving. If you have your phone mounted, you are permitted to swipe the screen in order to activate or deactivate a feature, but that is it. Multiple swipes or inputting of information is prohibited by law. The penalty for a first distracted driving offense is a $20 fine while subsequent offenses are $50 for a base fine. You may incur further expenses based on the county laws as counties have the right to impose additional fees in order to fund courthouse and jail construction efforts.

Despite legislative efforts, however, distracted driving remains one of the greatest dangers to those on U.S. roadways. After the wave of legislation regarding distracted driving has passed, there is not much talk about this threat. To continue educating the public about the dangers of distracted driving and in an effort to combat the problem, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has launched the U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Campaign against distracted driving.

The NHTSA’s Campaign Against Distracted Driving

There is not just one kind of distracted driving. Distracted driving can involve talking to passengers, changing radio stations, eating, and any other behavior that diverts your vision or attention away from the road. Texting while driving has, however, become one of the most notorious forms of distracted driving and with good reason. Texting is a distraction at multiple levels. Your vision is taken away from the road. Your mind and focus is taken away from the road.

Did you know that the NHTSA reported 3,142 fatalities in crashes that involved distracted driving in 2019 alone? That means that 9% of fatal crashes in 2019 involved distracted driving. From 2012 to 2019, more than 26,000 people died in crashes that involved distracted driving. With these kinds of numbers, it really is no wonder why 48 states, Washington, D.C. Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands have all passed laws putting a ban on texting while driving.

The U Drive. U Text. U Pay campaign run by the NHTSA strives to highlight the dangers of texting while driving and to act as a constant reminder to drivers of the legal, as well as the potentially fatal, consequences of texting while behind the wheel. The campaign recognizes the difficulty of breaking the habit of being constantly glued to our phones. The compulsion to constantly remain informed by what is going through our phones is tough to reprogram. Because of this, the NHTSA recommends drivers appoint a designated texter which would be a passenger in the vehicle tasked with managing the driver’s text messages. If you are on your own in your car, the NHTSA recommends pulling over to a safe spot, parking, and then sending or reading your texts. Should the pull to check your phone feel irresistible, consider keeping it in your trunk while you are driving.

Personal Injury Attorneys

Have you or a loved one been injured by a distracted driver? If so, get in touch with Compass Law Group. We will help you get the full and fair compensation you deserve for the harm you have suffered at the hands of a distracted driver. Contact us today.


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