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U.S. Department of Transportation Kicks Off Annual U Drive. U Text. U Pay. Campaign

| Washington, DC

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) today announced it is supporting National Distracted Driving Awareness Week with a $5 million public awareness advertising campaign.  During NHTSA’s U Drive. U Text. U Pay. high-visibility campaign, law enforcement officers nationwide will be looking for drivers texting or using their phones behind the wheel.

“Distracted driving can cause accidents and worse – this educational campaign reminds drivers to focus on the road and drive safely,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao.

Distracted driving can be a fatal mistake.  In 2018, 2,841 people were killed and 400,000 were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers.  Please click here for NHTSA’s 2018 Distracted Driving Traffic Safety Facts.

“Taking your eyes off the road for a moment is all it takes to cause a crash.  No call or text is worth a life,” NHTSA Deputy Administrator James Owens said.  “When you’re behind the wheel, stay focused on the road in front of you – not your phone.  And know that no vehicles on the market today are capable of driving themselves — you’re in charge and responsible for safely operating your vehicle even if it is equipped with the most advanced driver assistance features.”

The U Drive. U Text. U Pay. high-visibility enforcement campaign, now in its seventh year, is supported by a $5 million national media buy.  New ads in both English and Spanish will air on television, radio, and digital platforms targeting the high-risk driver category, ages 18 to 34.  

To prevent tragedies due to distracted driving, everyone should:

  • Turn off electronic devices and put them out of reach before starting to drive.
  • Be good role models for young drivers and set a good example.  Talk with your teens about responsible driving.
  • Speak up when a driver uses an electronic device behind the wheel.  Offer to make the call for the driver, so his or her full attention stays on the road.
  • Always wear your seat belt.  Seat belts are your best defense against unsafe drivers.
  • Be alert for pedestrians and cyclists, especially those who may themselves be distracted.

NHTSA 202-366-9550