The last time I blogged on the subject of distracted driving was in December 2010. Since then, the volume of discussion on this issue has continued to rise. In my hometown of Miami, the Miami-Dade Expressway Authority is creating a safety campaign with a morbid twist. The campaign, called “The Last Word,” highlights the after effects on others of distracted driving by showing poignant images, such as the casket of an innocent victim of a distracted driver.
The idea of forcing people to act by making the issue about the harm you could do to others, rather than just yourself, is certainly taking root. The U.S. Department of Transportation created a “Faces of Distracted Driving” video series featuring people across the country who’ve experienced a car crash tragedy that could have been avoided.
Or check out FocusDriven, the first national nonprofit organization that dedicates itself to telling the stories of those killed by distracted drivers. Read some of these stories and then decide if answering that text about the office pool right now in the car is really critical.
All kinds of groups are partnering to try and shine a light on this ugly problem and convince drivers to change their deadly ways. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the Orthopaedic Trauma Association created a website Decide to Drive, where they note that distracted driving kills 500,000 people each year and invite you to “catch the culprits in the act” and submit violation reports when you see distracted drivers.
Concern about the issue has motivated even teenagers to act. A 16-year-old named Laura Saldivar took initiative and now leads the Teen Distracted Driving Prevention Leadership Team.
So what are you waiting for? Read about it. Take the pledge. You can also download it to share with your friends and family. Then follow the rules to avoid distracted driving. You don’t want to see your name, your story or your loved ones in the news.