Distracted driving can be deadly. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that in 2016, at least 3,450 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers. More than 500 were pedestrians or bicyclists.
To combat this alarming trend, the National Safety Council, Nebraska (NSCN) is launching “Distracted Driving Affected Me” a multi-media campaign to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. A press release will be held at the National Safety Council, Nebraska at 10am on September 12th to kick off the campaign. Anyone interested in advocating against distracted driving is encouraged to attend.
Through this effort, which shares heartfelt and tragic personal stories of Nebraskans impacted by distracted driving, the Council and its program sponsors hope to encourage motorists to stop this dangerous behavior. This statewide educational campaign will include sharing messages via billboards, television, radio, and various social media channels. NSCN encourages others to become advocates as well by visiting www.DDaffectedme.org and ordering a window cling or lapel pin. Together we can make a difference.
“I recently drove behind a young mother on a busy Omaha street and I could see she was texting on her phone,” said Eric Koeppe, NSCN President and CEO. “At the next stop light, I noticed she had an infant in the back seat. This dangerous behavior must stop. Life is more important than anything that is happening on one’s phone.”
Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. Texting while driving 55 mph is the equivalent of traveling the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. Unfortunately, countless Nebraskans have developed this same bad habit of multi-tasking while behind the wheel, putting themselves and others at great risk.
AAA, strong supporters of the campaign, encourage all Nebraskans to drive responsible. Power down or stow communication devices before heading out on the roadway. If another activity in the vehicle demands your attention, instead of trying to attempt it while driving, pull off the road and stop in a safe place. If you have passengers, enlist their help on any tasks that shift your focus away from the roadway. Don’t let anything divert your attention from the primary task of driving safely.