What is Distracted Driving?

Get involved and help stop distracted driving! We can all play a part in the fight to save lives by ending distracted driving. #JustDrive

TEENS
Teens can be the best messengers with their peers, so we encourage them to speak up when they see a friend driving while distracted, to have their friends sign a pledge to never drive distracted, to become involved in their local Students Against Destructive Decisions chapter, and to share messages on social media that remind their friends, family, and neighbors not to make the deadly choice to drive distracted.

PARENTS
Parents first have to lead by example—by never driving distracted—as well as have a talk with their young driver about distraction and all of the responsibilities that come with driving. Have everyone in the family sign the pledge to commit to distraction-free driving. Remind your teen driver that in States with graduated driver licensing (GDL), a violation of distracted-driving laws could mean a delayed or suspended license.

EDUCATORS AND EMPLOYERS
Educators and employers can play a part, too. Spread the word at your school or workplace about the dangers of distracted driving. Ask your students to commit to distraction-free driving or set a company policy on distracted driving.

MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD
If you feel strongly about distracted driving, be a voice in your community by supporting local laws, speaking out at community meetings, and highlighting the dangers of distracted driving on social media and in your local op-ed pages. 

You cannot drive safely unless the task of driving has your full attention. Any non-driving activity you engage in is a potential distraction and increases your risk of crashing. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for 5 seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. In 2015 alone, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers. Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes. 

When you text while driving, you are taking your eyes off the road, your hands off the wheel and your mind off the task of driving. Check out the flyer below to learn more about what constitutes being distracted while driving

Links for YOUR Distracted Driving Month campaign. 

National Safety Council:
http://www.nsc.org/learn/NSC-Initiatives/Pages/distracted-driving-awareness-month.aspx

National Highway Traffic Safety Administrations campaigns: 
 https://www.trafficsafetymarketing.gov/search?keywords=Distracted+driving

Stop Texts, Stop Wrecks:
http://stoptextsstopwrecks.org/

Cassidy Porter

Last year I attended my very first Oklahoma Challenge workshop in Norman. When I l left the workshop that day, I was completely amazed by all of the facts and statistics we were shown. I had learned that so many people lose their lives every day because of something that is preventable! My chapter officer team and I, with the help of the facilitators at the workshop, came up with a great plan to promote awareness of distracted driving. We were going to take everything we learned at the workshop and bring it back to our school and community so that we could change the statistics. It was actually pretty simple to start our projects and pretty soon we were getting our whole school and community involved! I definitely want everyone to be able to do what we did for their own communities, so here are a few tips to help get you started:

  • Set up a booth at school games with information and pledges for people to sign.
  • Offer incentives for kids at school such as candy, food, drinks, etc. and distribute facts and statistics about distracted driving.
  • Ask a highway patrolman or people that have been effected by distracted driving to speak at your school.
  • Volunteer with elementary pick up and hand out flyers to parents.
  • Bring simulators to the school for students to try out.

There are so many ways we can prevent distracted driving. It’s up to YOU to help promote awareness about the serious issue. There are plenty of resources on the Oklahoma Challenge website for you to use! Make sure to get your school and community involved in everything you do. Remember that you have a voice and the power to make change happen! Just by participating in the Oklahoma Challenge, you can save lives and make a difference! I highly encourage you to support this cause and contact your adviser to help you start today!

Always remember to drive safe! I hope to see you all at the Oklahoma Challenge Award ceremony! 

Cassidy Porter

State Vice President of Public Relations
Latta High School