March 12, 2012
/ by Kimberly Cooper
What: Life moves quickly these days. People feel the need to be constantly connected. However, giving into the temptation to check a text or make a call while driving too often leads to crashes and injury. In April, encourage drivers to put the phone down during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
Background: Cellphone use continues to grow each year. In 2010, 93 percent of Americans owned a mobile device. That same year, the House of Representatives passed a resolution making April Distracted Driving Awareness Month. During the monthlong event, people are encouraged to stop using cellphones while behind the wheel and become more aware of the consequences of distracted driving.
Story Pitch: A number of organizations and companies can partake in National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Auto manufacturers are able to take this time to stress the importance of car safety, while also promoting safe driving habits to customers. Auto insurance companies may also use the event to promote safe driving habits by offering classes and lessons on the dangers of distracted driving. Local police departments can take advantage by illustrating the dangers of distracted driving. Meanwhile, cellphone manufacturers and retail stores may partake by promoting hands-free devices.
Story Hook: According to FocusDrive, drivers who type or read text messages contribute to at least 100,000 car crashes each year. Consider the following while making your pitch:
Tips: A police chief for the local department would be a great resource to talk about the dangers of distracted driving, while an auto insurance representative can accurately describe the ramifications of distracted driving. Someone who has suffered the consequences of distracted driving or chosen not to use their cellphone behind the wheel would also make good contacts.
Focus Driven (630) 775-2405 www.focusdriven.org
Foundation for Traffic Safety (202) 638-5944 www.aaafoundation.org
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (202) 366-9742 www.distraction.gov
United States Department of Transportation (866) 377-8642 www.dot.gov
–Researched, compiled & written by Kimberly Cooper Event Dates from CHASE’S Calendar of Events
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