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National Distracted Driving Awareness Month

When: April

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:

  • What demographic is most likely to drive while distracted?
  • How can laws help combat cellphone use when behind the wheel?
  • In what ways can parents help teens avoid distracted driving?
  • How many people per year fall victim to distracted driving?

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.

Resources:

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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