April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. This topic is particularly meaningful to my family this year, as someone close to us was involved in a distracted driving tragedy just weeks ago. While it always seems like something that happens to other people, nobody on the planet is immune. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, in 2011 more than 3,300 people were killed and 387,000 injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. Even scarier: During any daylight moment, about 660,000 U.S. drivers use cellphones or manipulate electronic devices while driving, according to the 2011 National Occupant Protection Use Survey.
So it comes down to this: You can either be the perpetrator of distracted driving, being tempted to take a quick peek at that text that just came in, or you can be on the dangerous or even deadly receiving end of someone else's distracted driving.
Every state in the U.S. participated in last year's Governors Highway Safety Administration's "2013 Distracted Driving: Survey of the States." One crystal-clear take-away from the survey is that no one has hit on a solution with which all parties agree.
And although the U.S. has increased its distracted-driving awareness and education campaigns, the terrifying reality is that we're nowhere near close to solving this often-deadly problem. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, "Americans continue to use electronic devices while driving, despite warnings that it causes their own driving to deteriorate and can lead to crashes, injuries and even death."