PDYP - Put Down Your Phone - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

PDYP - Put Down Your Phone

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous distractions to a driver. Discouraging someone from texting while driving could save their life.

Key Facts and Statistics
According to the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration:

• In 2010, 3092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and an estimated additional 416,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
• 18% of injury crashes in 2010 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
• In the month of June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the US, up nearly 50% from June 2009. (CTIA)
• 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
• 40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. (Pew)
• Drivers who use hand-held devices are 4 times more likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Monash University)
• Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. (VTTI)
• Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind. (VTTI)
• Headset cell phone use is not substantially safer than hand-held use. (VTTI)
• Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37%. (Carnegie Mellon)

Get Involved
The fight to end distracted driving starts with you. Make the commitment to drive phone-free today. Never text or talk on the phone while driving.

Be a good passenger and speak out if the driver in your car is distracted. Also, encourage your friends and family to drive phone-free.

For more information, visit distraction.gov.

Tips for Teens
• Be Smart. Don't text and drive. No text message is worth being distracted while you drive.
• Be in contol. Remember it's your phone. You decide when to send and read texts to take control. Consider turning your phone off, setting it to silent or even storing it in the glove box before hitting the road.
• Be caring. Never send a text message to a friend who is driving to meet you, or to anyone you know is likely behind the wheel.
• Be a BFF. Friends don't let friends text and drive.

Tips for Adults
• Be a resource. Share information with your teens about the risks of texting while driving.
• Be an example. Don't send the wrong message by texting while you drive. Your teen will follow your example.
• Be caring. Don't send a test when you know your teen is driving. Wait for them to call or text you once they have arrived safely at their destination.
• Be aware. Know your options AT&T Smart Limits offers parents an easy way to manage their teen's cell phone and text messaging activity.

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