Distracted Driving Awareness

Take the Pledge to #JustDrive

Distracted Driving has become a deadly epidemic on America’s roadways. Each day, we all face dangerous risks.


WHEN YOU’RE BEHIND THE WHEEL… Your only job is to drive.

Each April, we nationally recognize the vital importance of Distracted Driving Awareness. One too many lives have been lost to distracted driving. Today, at least eight people a day are killed in distracted driving crashes. Distracted driving isn’t just risky for you, it can be deadly for everyone involved — including passengers, nearby drivers and pedestrians, or other bystanders.

According to the National Safety Council (NSC), America’s leading non-profit safety advocate, new estimates of total motor-vehicle deaths show that our roads are the most dangerous they have been in years.

At any given moment, approximately 660,000 drivers are using or manipulating electronic devices such as cellphones and infotainment systems. Regardless of handheld or hands-free, allowing distractions while driving pose dangerous risks for everyone!

If something requires your hands, your eyes or your attention while you’re driving… IT’S A DISTRACTION!

Take the Just Drive Pledge and help to #KeepEachOtherSafe.


Courtesy: National Safety Council (NSC)

The Washington State Patrol (WSP), Washington Traffic Safety Commission (WTSC), and partner law enforcement agencies across the state participate in a statewide “Surviving Summer” campaign to reduce serious injury and fatality collisions during the state’s 90 dangerous days on Washington roadways. For five years, June 9 through September 7 has become Washington’s highest consecutive 90-day stretch for traffic-related fatalities. According to the WTSC, more than 967 lives were lost due to fatal crashes throughout the past five summers (June to August), with law enforcement responding to an average of more than 60 fatalities per month in June, July, and August.

The 90 days (on average) accounts for 31 percent of all traffic deaths statewide. Those at risk are not just drivers – but also vulnerable roadway users such as pedestrians, bicyclists and motorcycle riders.

  • Plan ahead before you hit the road: Check for local traffic conditions and pack your patience – especially if you are traveling in unfamiliar areas.
  • Focus on driving when behind the wheel: Always buckle up, adhere to posted speed limits, drive sober, and stay distraction free.
  • Be on alert for our vulnerable road users: This includes pedestrians, motorcycle riders, bicyclists – we all share the road.
  • Secure all your items before you leave: Heading on a summer road trip? Make sure all of your belongings are stowed safely.

The top contributing circumstances to those fatality collisions are:

  • Excessive speed
  • Impairment
  • Distraction
  • Failing to grant right of way

WSP troopers investigated 314 fatality collisions in 2022 – of those, 95 fatality collisions (30 percent) occurred during the #90DangerousDays. Of those 95 summertime tragedies:

  • 38 percent involved impairment
  • 30 percent involved occupants not wearing their seatbelts
  • 25 percent involved excessive speed
  • 13 percent involved distracted driving
  • 31 percent of those collisions occurred between 4 a.m. and 11 a.m. on a weekday
Of the WSP investigated fatality collisions during the 90 dangerous days, the majority occurred on a Wednesday, Friday, or Saturday.


Everyday examples include:

  • Using cell phones and devices
  • Watching videos
  • Operating GPS systems
  • Interacting with passengers
  • Eating or drinking
  • Applying makeup
  • Shaving
  • Reading
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs


Follow these safety tips before you drive:

  • Program your GPS
  • Setup your playlist
  • Silence and put away your phone

If you must send or receive a text:

  • Pull over to a safe location and park your vehicle first.
  • Ask a passenger to respond to calls or text messages on your behalf.

If you cannot resist the temptation to look at your phone:

  • Activate the “Do Not Disturb” feature, or place the device in the trunk, glove box or back seat of your vehicle until you reach your destination.


Or… Pay the price!

Talking or texting while driving is one of the most dangerous and deadliest forms of distracted driving. On average, younger drivers ages 16 to 24-years old are more distracted by devices—but we’re all at risk for distracted-driving crashes!

As of 2023, forty-eight U.S. states successfully passed laws making it illegal to text while driving. To learn more about the laws in your state and community, visit the Governors Highway Safety Association at ghsa.org.


Pledge today!

Join HIPRC in taking the pledge to #JustDrive and share this vital information with your family, friends and community. Learn more at nsc.org/justdrive.


Source: National Safety Council (NSC), Traffic Safety Marketing (TSM) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Distracted Driving Affects EVERYONE:
  • In 2010, United States Congress designated April as Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
  • In 2020, 38,824 people lost their lives on American roads—the highest number since 2007.
  • In 2022, Washington state had six fatal work zone crashes on state roads.
  • Each year, about 670 people are killed nationally in highway work zones.
  • 95% of people hurt in work zones are drivers, their passengers or passing pedestrians—not just our road crews.
  • Speeding continues to be a top reason for work zone crashes.
  • Although this crisis affects us all, some road users are impacted more than others.
  • Pedestrian fatalities are up 3.9% (the highest number since 1989).
  • Bicyclist fatalities are up 9.2% (the highest number since 1987).
  • In addition, traffic crashes disproportionately impact people who are Black, American Indian, or live in rural communities.
  • It only takes a few seconds to set up your drive and avoid dangerous distractions.
  • At 55 mph, a 4-second text takes your eyes off the road while you travel the full length of a football field!
  • Drivers should refrain from using their phone when behind the wheel.
  • Research shows that 49% of drivers have talked on a handheld phone while driving.
  • 87% of the survey respondents said they’d be more likely to end a call if a passenger said something.
  • Handheld cell phone use by drivers has declined and is now illegal in 21 U.S. states.
  • Today, 48 U.S. states have enacted texting bans for all drivers.
  • Hands-free is not risk-free eliminating driver use of all types of cell phones and in-vehicle infotainment systems is safest!


Source: National Safety Council (NSC), Traffic Safety Marketing (TSM), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

The rate of pedestrian deaths jumped more than 20% in the first half of 2020.

That’s a SIGNIFICANT increase! And, according to the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), speeding, distracted driving and impaired driving during the COVID-19 pandemic all played a role.

So, whether you’re a PEDESTRIAN or a DRIVER — please do your part to keep everyone safe!

Follow these helpful tips:

  • Use the sidewalk, whenever possible. If that’s not an option, walk facing traffic.
  • Obey all traffic signs and signals.
  • Cross streets at crosswalks when you can. If no crosswalk is available and your view of traffic is blocked, move to a place where you can see oncoming traffic.
  • Look left, right and left again before crossing a street. Make eye contact with drivers to make sure they see you.
  • Pay attention: Don’t use your cellphone or wear earbuds. These devices put your safety at risk, the NSC says.
  • Wear bright or reflective clothing if you’re walking at night, and use a flashlight.
  • Watch for cars entering or exiting driveways or backing up in parking lots. Their drivers may not see you.
  • When you’re behind the wheel, you need to always be on the alert for pedestrians.
  • Scan the road for crosswalks and use the “What if?” strategy: If a person darted out in front of my car, how would I react? Be prepared for any situation.
  • Obey all traffic laws.
  • Be extra careful when backing up your vehicle. Check all angles for people before proceeding.
  • Don’t block a crosswalk when stopped at a red light or while waiting to make a turn. This forces people to go around you, which could put them in the path of traffic.
  • Yield to pedestrians, even if they aren’t in a crosswalk.
  • Don’t wave pedestrians across the street. Other drivers may not see you doing so and could strike the pedestrians with their vehicle.
  • Are kids nearby? School zone signs, playgrounds and crossing guards are good indicators that children are around. Make sure to drive attentively in these areas and follow the posted speed limit.
  • Don’t honk or rev your engine to scare a pedestrian, even if you have the right of way. Let’s all be courteous to each other.


Source: National Safety Council (NSC) and Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA).

2023 National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW)

Recognized each April, NWZAW happens at the start of construction season to encourage safe driving through highway work zones.

This year, NWZAW is hosted April 17th – 21st by the Missouri Department of Transportation (MoDOT).

This year’s theme, ‘You play a role in work zone safety. Work with us., helps to remind everyone of how vitally important it is for drivers and pedestrians to TAKE EXTRA CAUTION when traveling through work zones.

This year’s commemoration will include:

  • 4/17 – Work Zone Safety Training Day
  • 4/18 – National Kickoff Event
  • 4/19 – Go Orange Day
  • 4/20 – Social Media Storm
  • 4/21 – A Moment of Silence (dedicated to honoring all lives claimed in work zones)

Figure showing data on WHY Road Workers Need Us to Slow Down in Work Zones. Source: nwzaw.org.

To learn more about how you can participate and make your voice count, visit: nwzaw.org.


Source: American Traffic Safety Services Association (ATSSA) and 2023 National Work Zone Awareness Week (NWZAW)

The Distracted Driving Hand-Held Ban is a Primary Law in Washington state.

The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) is your state’s voice on highway safety.

Visit ghsa.org to learn about statewide laws on distracted driving. 

America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate

The National Safety Council (NSC) is focused on eliminating the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths. Having pioneered the nation’s first Defensive Driving Course and trained over 80 million drivers, NSC continues to be the most trusted name in defensive driving training in the United States.

NSC’s Defensive Driving Courses are hosted online and deliver the most relevant, leading-edge content to motivate and educate drivers to be safe and responsible in avoiding collisions, crashes, injuries or worse.

Visit nsc.org for more info or to register today!

Source: National Safety Council (NSC).

U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
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Source: National Safety Council (NSC), National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Washington State Department of Transportation (WSDOT).

The extreme loss of life on our roads from distracted driving and human mistakes is a national crisis.

According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), “zero” is the only acceptable number of deaths on our nation’s roads. Everyone must accept that fatalities and serious injuries are unacceptable and preventable.

Zero is our goal — a Safe System is how we get there!

Reaching zero deaths requires the implementation of the Safe System approach (vs Traditional Road Safety Practices) which places safety first and foremost in our road systems.

Implementing the Safe System approach is our shared responsibility, and we all have a role. It requires shifting how we think about transportation safety and how we prioritize our transportation investments.

To learn more, visit: transportation.gov.


Source: U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration (FHWA).


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