U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
Distracted driving comes in many forms: adjusting the radio or GPS, applying makeup, eating and drinking. But it's cell phone use - specifically, texting, talking, and social media use - that has become the most common distraction. Texting is an especially dangerous form of distracted driving because it takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and concentration off driving.
From April 3-10, 2023, we, the Nevada County Sheriff's Department in your community, are working together with the U.S. Department of Transportation's National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to help spread the word about the dangers of distracted driving. During this time, we'll conduct a high-visibility enforcement effort called U Drive. U Text. U Pay., during which we will increase enforcement efforts and issue citations for distracted-driving violations. The campaign exists to remind drivers of the consequences of their reckless actions, and to continue to spread the message about the dangers of distracted driving. These expanded efforts to prevent distracted driving will be conducted in a fair and equitable way.
According to NHTSA, nearly 32,483 people died in distraction-affected crashes over the ten-year period from 2011 to 2020. In 2020, there were 3,142 deaths linked to driver distraction, or 8% of all motor-vehicle crash fatalities. This is an increase of 23 fatalities compared to 2019.
Research shows that Millennials and Generation Z are the most distracted drivers, often using their cell phones to talk, text, and scroll through social media while behind the wheel. According to NHTSA research from 2017, young drivers 16 to 24 years old have been observed using handheld electronic devices while driving at higher rates than older drivers since 2007. In 2020, 7% of drivers 15 to 20 years old involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted.
Drive Safe Every Trip
No one wants to get a ticket for distracted driving. And, you certainly don't want to cause a crash because you decided to read or send a text. If you're driving, follow these steps:
- If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location. Once you are safely off the road and parked, it is safe to text.
- Ask your passenger to be your "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.
- Cell phone use can be habit-forming. Struggling to not text and drive? 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.
Do not be responsible for taking a life or for causing someone serious injury. Texting while driving is dangerous and illegal. Break the cycle. Remember: U Drive. U Text. U Pay.
For more information, visit www.nhtsa.gov/campaign/distracted-driving.