The campaign for people who are drinking to designated a sober driver was first launched in the late 1980s. The man who spearheaded the designated driver campaign to cut down on drunk driving accidents is now set to launch a similar campaign against distracted driving. The proliferation of cell phones and other portable electronic devices has been credited, in part, with a rise in the number of distracted driving fatalities on American roads. If successful, this new campaign could help draw further attention to the dangers of driving without your full attention on the road.
Safety experts are struggling to change people’s attitudes toward distracted driving. According to surveys, the vast majority of adult drivers acknowledge that texting and driving is dangerous. Despite that knowledge, nearly 50 percent of adults admit to texting while behind the wheel. The problem also affects teen drivers, who suffer elevated rates of many types of accidents, including distracted driving accidents.
The new campaign will combat cell phone use and text messaging as major components of distracted driving, but it will not stop there. The campaign will also tackle distractions such as the use of navigation devices and other ways in which a driver’s attention can be diverted. As with the designated driver campaign, the intention is to partner with Hollywood to help influence the way people think about distracted driving.
An obviously drunk driver is likely to inspire shock, outrage and hopefully a call to police. Distracted drivers may inspire annoyance, but it is clear that many people do not consider distracted driving as dangerous or negligent as drinking and driving. As distracted driving accidents recently passed drunk driving accidents as the top killer of teen drivers, that thinking needs to change.
Source: United Press International, “‘Designated driver’ campaign model for distracted driving,” 24 May 2013
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A Campaign To Stop Distracted Driving