A new campaign called U Drive. U Text. U Pay. has been put in place by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in support of National Distracted Driving Awareness Week. During this campaign, law enforcement officers throughout the country will be on the lookout for drivers of motor vehicles who are texting or using their phones while driving. According to NHTSA’s Distracted Driving Traffic Safety Facts, in 2018, 2,841 people were killed, and 400,000 were injured as a result of crashes involving distracted motor vehicle operators.
Elaine L. Chao, the U.S. Transportation Secretary, stated that “Distracted driving can cause accidents and worse – this educational campaign reminds drivers to focus on the road and drive safely.” More bluntly, NHTSA Deputy Director James Owens stated that “taking your eyes off the road for a moment is all it takes to cause a crash.” Clearly, no text or call is worth a human life. As Mr. Owens further pointed out, “you’re in charge and responsible for safely operating your vehicle,” no matter how advanced the driver assistance equipment on your car may be.
NHTSA’s U Drive. U Text. U Pay. program is in its seventh year. The campaign is being supported by a national media buy in English and Spanish and is intended to target drivers in the age range of between 18 to 34.
NHTSA provides the following important tips designed to help prevent fatal and serious auto accidents due to distracted driving:
—Make sure electronic devices are both turned off and out of reach even before you turn the car engine on.
—Talk to teen drivers about the importance of being a responsible driver.
—Do not hesitate to say something if you are in a car with a driver who is attempting to use and/or is using an electronic device. You want the car’s operator to give his or her full attention to the road ahead of them. It can be as simple as offering to make the call for them.
—Put your seatbelt on the moment you sit down in a car and keep it on until you have come to a stop at your destination. If you are in an accident, a seat belt offers the best defense you have against an unsafe driver.
—Keep in mind that pedestrians and bicyclists may be distracted as well. Be alert when you encounter them.
The lawyers at Liever, Hyman & Potter, P.C., are concerned for the safety of the motoring public in Reading, Berks County, Pottsville, Schuylkill County, and throughout Eastern and Central Pennsylvania. The personal injury attorneys near Philadelphia serve auto, truck, and motorcycle accident victims and their families in claims and cases involving serious injury and death caused by the negligence of others. The firm also handles workers’ compensation, medical malpractice, and nursing home neglect cases.
From the desk of Adam K. Levin, Esquire