Don’t let distracted driving become an ‘out of mind’ ‘out of sight’ kind of thing

During April we focus our efforts on increasing awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Nationally, it’s Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In Virginia, Governor Bob McDonnell’s proclamation on the matter launched a month of activity, much of which was coordinated by DRIVE SMART Virginia. We reached thousands upon thousands of people with our message “Driving distractions can be deadly buckle up, phone down.” Numerous companies or agencies, including the Virginia Department of Corrections, conducted educational programs in their workplace. Virginia Farm Bureau hosted a seminar and sponsored outreach events at all of the minor league baseball fields in Virginia. Schools, such as Varina High School, ordered materials to help alert teen drivers about the danger of texting and driving. Even Miss Virginia and Miss America got in on the festivities, speaking to the media and schools. Many of our insurance partners helped get out the word too. Special thanks to Allstate, GEICO, State Farm and Virginia Farm Bureau. We spent much of April taking our message on the road. At a licensing ceremony in Pulaski, we told young drivers “Look down at your phone, or change the radio and you don’t know what you might face when you look back at the road.” We had messaging on the radio, in the paper and on television. We were engulfed in social media activity.You could find us speaking to schools and work groups, even a few NASCAR races hanging out with driver Casey Mears. We were everywhere. But now that April has ended and we’re not talking about distracted driving 24/7, will Virginians remember to continue these new, safe driving habits? We hope so and we hope you’ll remember to remind each other. When you see distracted driving behavior, speak up, say something, remind the person about how dangerous that behavior is. Distracted driving isn’t just texting and driving, or changing the radio, it’s anything that takes your eyes or mind off the road. You increase your chance for a safe ride the more you focus on the road. You increase your chance for a crash the more you’re distracted. This is our deal. We’ll continue to work to remind you often that distracted driving is dangerous. You listen, and share the message. Thanks for your help.

Filed Under: Distracted Driving