April 4, 2022 | Washington, DC
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is teaming up with safety partners nationwide to remind drivers to avoid using phones and other distractions behind the wheel.
NHTSA’s U Drive. U Text. U Pay. high-visibility enforcement campaign runs April 7-11 and aims to save lives by preventing distracted driving. Law enforcement officers will be stopping drivers who are texting behind the wheel and educating them on the risks of driving distracted.
The campaign, now in its eighth year, is supported by a $5 million national media buy in English and Spanish on television, radio, and digital platforms. It will take place April 4-11 targeting drivers age 18 to 34 – who, according to NHTSA data, are more likely to die in distraction-affected crashes than any other age group.
“By working with law enforcement and local communities, we can educate and empower drivers to put the phone down and focus on the road. No one should lose their life because of a text message,” said Dr. Steven Cliff, NHTSA’s Deputy Administrator. “In working with localities and law enforcement, NHTSA is also helping ensure that these distracted driving enforcement efforts are conducted in a fair and equitable way.”
NHTSA data shows that more than 29,000 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver from 2012 to 2020. In 2020, distracted driving crashes accounted for 13% of all injury crashes and 3,142 deaths nationwide.
Currently, 48 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands ban text messaging for all drivers. However, texting and other forms of messaging remain some of the most pervasive forms of distracted driving.
Drivers are encouraged to remember these tips behind the wheel:
- If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location.
- Ask your passenger to be a “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
- Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
- If necessary, activate your phone’s “do not disturb” feature, or put your cell phone in the trunk, glove box or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.
- Be an example to family and friends. If you see someone texting while driving, speak up.