This April, spread the word on distracted driving: Calls Kill

From the U.S. DOT Fast Lane, by Deborah A.P. Hersman, President & CEO of the National Safety Councii:

To be safe drivers, we are taught to buckle up, adjust our mirrors, and scan the area before we pull out. But there is another behavior that people think is “safe,” which actually puts drivers, their passengers, and everyone on the road at risk.

According to a 2014 poll, 8 out of every 10 drivers --like the mom in this new video from the National Safety Council-- honestly believe they are making a safe choice by using a hands-free application for their phone while driving. Unfortunately, they are wrong.

More than 30 studies show hands-free devices do not make drivers any safer because --even hands-free-- your brain remains distracted by the cell phone conversation.

The statistics don’t lie

The fact is there is no safe way to use a cell phone and drive. Using a cell phone while driving takes your attention away from the driving task. Drivers talking on cell phones can look through a windshield and still fail to see half of what is around them --including traffic lights, stop signs, other vehicles, and pedestrians.

Sadly, car crashes claim the lives of about 100 Americans each day, and 90% of crashes are caused by a driver, not by vehicle failure or bad weather. So with estimates showing that one in four crashes involve cell phone use, we need to think about the choices we make behind the wheel. Deaths and injuries on our roadways are completely preventable.

Many distractions exist while driving, but cell phone use is a top distraction because it is a high-risk activity that drivers engage in for long periods of time each day. While most drivers agree that using a cell phone is risky, many continue to do so.

What we can do

Eliminating cell phone distracted driving will take time and involves a combination of public education, good laws, strong enforcement, and safer technology. This April, for Distracted Driving Awareness Month, the National Safety Council is rolling out a Calls Kill campaign to address common myths surrounding distracted driving.

Calls Kill is the first campaign of its kind to focus on the risks of using hands-free devices while driving, including the hands-free features of dashboard infotainment systems. Visit and share our videos, fact sheets, posters, and infographics with your friends and family; get social using #CallsKill; and take the Focused Driver Challenge by pledging to drive cell free.

We live in a connected society, and more than 80% of drivers consider cell phones to be addicting.  But when behind the wheel, that addiction can be deadly. Be part of the solution in the fight against distracted driving. Lives depend on it.


Published 04-10-15