RALEIGH – Governor Roy Cooper has proclaimed April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month to increase awareness that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but everyone else on the road.
In conjunction to the proclamation, the North Carolina Governor’s Highway Safety Program has launched its annual One Text or Call Could Wreck It All campaign to encourage motorists to not drive distracted.
“This effort is intended to educate our community about the dangers of cell phone use and other distractions while driving,” said Mark Ezzell, director of the Governor’s Highway Safety Program. “We hope that once people see the statistics and realize the danger involved, they will change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families, and others on the road.”
Last year in North Carolina, 152 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver and nearly 25,000 were seriously injured. This is a 13 percent decrease over the previous year in the number of fatal crashes caused by distracted driving, but was still way too many.
North Carolina law bans all cell phone use, both handheld and hands-free, for bus drivers and all drivers under the age of 18, and bans texting and emailing for drivers of all ages.
While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive.
The One Text or Call Could Wreck It All campaign complements NC Vision Zero initiative, which aims to save lives on North Carolina roadways. The goal is to reach zero traffic-related fatalities through data-driven safety interventions.
For more information about distracted driving, please visit www.distraction.gov.