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Put the Phone Away or Pay

For the past decade, distracted driving has taken U.S. roadways by storm, endangering not only the distracted drivers, but their passengers, pedestrians and others using the road. When we're behind the wheel, we must focus on one task: safe driving. Anytime you shift your attention from driving, you're distracted.

Distracted driving comes in many forms: adjusting the radio or GPS, applying makeup, eating and drinking. But it’s cell phone use — specifically, texting, talking, and social media use — that is the most common distraction. Texting, which includes messaging, is considered the most dangerous type of distracted driving because it combines visual, manual and cognitive distraction.

Distracted Driving Is Deadly

Lives lost in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2022 — that's 3,308 too many
8.00 %
Fatal crashes in 2022 that involved distracted drivers
32000.00 +
Approximate number of people who died in crashes involving distracted drivers from 2013-2022


NHTSA’s Put the Phone Away or Pay campaign reminds drivers of the deadly dangers and the legal consequences – including fines – of texting and other forms of messaging behind the wheel. In 49 states, as well as Washington, DC, Puerto Rico, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the Virgin Islands, texting while driving is illegal. From April 4-8, you will see an increase in police enforcing texting and distracted-driving laws.

In 2022 there were 3,308 people killed and and nearly 290,000 people injured in traffic crashes involving distracted drivers. Consider these tips for safe driving: 

  • If you have to text, pull over to a safe location and park your car — only then should you read or send the text message. 
  • Distracted driving isn’t just texting, scrolling through social media or messaging while driving is distracted driving too. 
  • Appoint your passenger as the “designated texter” to respond to calls or messages. 
  • Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, silence notifications, or your put phone away in the trunk so you won't be tempted to respond.
  • Speak up if you see someone texting and driving and ask them to put their phone away.


The fight starts here. Take action today, and pledge to stop driving distracted.

Commit yourself to saving lives by never texting or using your phone while driving, and speak up when you see others distracted. #justdrive