In 2014, we began encouraging our clients, employees, friends, families, and even random people to stop texting while they are driving. Today we are calling your attention to the distracted Driving Awareness Month that begins on April 1, 2019.
This year we’re going a step beyond reminding you not to text and drive. This year we’re asking you to be an advocate. Following our update on the status of distracted drivers we’ll give you sources for getting just the tools you need to become an advocate.
Beginning on Friday, September 1st, texting while driving within the state of Texas will be punishable by a fine of $25-99 for first-time offenders, and $100-200 for repeat offenders (though no points will be assigned).
The new law also states that if an accident caused by texting and driving results in the death or serious bodily injury of another person, they can be charged with a Class A misdemeanor punishable by a fine not to exceed $4,000 and confinement in jail for a term not to exceed one year (in addition to any other charges/punishments).
Traffic deaths dropped 4 percent, from 3,720 in 2017 to 3,567 in 2018, according to a report from the Insurance Council of Texas, which reviewed Texas Department of Transportation data.
Why Distracted Driving Awareness Month is Important
1.Texting and Swerving. People who text and drive statistically spend 10% of their time on the road outside their lane. Yikes.
- It’s Illegal. Out of America’s 50 states, 43 have laws prohibiting texting and driving. South Dakota, New Mexico, Mississippi, Texas, Oklahoma, and Missouri have laws regulating it. Arizona just extended their reckless driving laws to cover texting.
- Texting is worse than drunk driving. Texters are six times more likely to wreck their car than drivers over the legal drinking limit. How horrifying is that? Answer: Very.
New behavior for the month of April
Let’s look at some of the decisions that can help all of us to eliminate those life- threatening distracted driving habits.
- Drive responsibly. Duh. We don’t care if your friend has to wait until you get home to find out whether or not you’re going to Josh’s party. We would much rather you stay alive to go said party.
- Listen to audio books, podcasts, or music. What a great alternative to handicapping yourself with texting! Jamming out to your tunes or listening to an epic fight scene is much more entertaining than discussing what you want for dinner anyway.
- Take a road trip with friends. Not only is this a fun way to bond, but your friends are actually there. Plus, it's rude to text while visiting with people.
Take the Pledge
Thanks to AT&T, the It Can Wait campaign has over 36 million people who have pledged to drive distraction free. From checking emails to posting on social media, behind the wheel, it can wait.
Buckcle Up! Check out the It Can Wait VR Video
Here is an opportunity to witness the very real dangers of distracted driving in a very real Virtual Reality (VR) experience. We suggest that you share the experience with your teenage drivers. Click here.
Becoming an Advocate
In our research for this article, we found some great ways we can all spread the word about changing those dangerous distracted driving habits. Check out the list of our favorites.
IT Can Wait from AT&T
The It Can Wait Home page is the place to find the Drive Distraction Free Pledge. The link to the Virtual Reality distracted driving video is also on this page.
Want to be an It Can Wait Advocate? Click on this link to see links to the Tool Kit, School Presentation, Corporate Presentation, and Fact Infographic.
National Safety Council
The National Safety Council provides access to free posters, videos, fact sheets, and more to share at work, home, and in your community. Click here.
Dean and Draper
Join us in making a conscious decision to break those distracted driving habits. We also invite you to share this information freely during Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
When you have questions about your insurance, we’re here to help you with that as well.
Dean& Draper is a Trusted Choice insurance agency representing over 200 insurance companies. For over 35 years we have offered a trusted freedom of choice to our clients. ContactUs.
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