April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and the U.S. Department of Transportation will focus the bulk of their campaign to end distracted driving between April 4th to 13th. Meanwhile, across the nation, 660,000 drivers are using handheld cellular devices
at any given moment. In support of the DOT’s campaign, Urgent.ly encourages everyone to be aware of distracted driving, its dangers, and its consequences.
Distracted driving is dangerous. Young people are particularly at risk, but they’re not alone. 3,179 people died and another 431,000 were injured in 2014 as a result of crashes involving distracted drivers.
In a 2013 study
of drivers involved in fatal crashes, drivers between the ages of 15 and 29 accounted for 37% of distracted drivers, and 49% of drivers who were using their cell phone at the time of a fatal crash.
The consequences of distracted driving can also be financially burdensome. In Virginia
, where Urgent.ly is based, a 1st time offense for “use of handheld personal communications devices” is punishable by a fine of $125, and punishable by a fine of $250 for a subsequent offense. State punishments range, however. In Alaska
, drivers caught texting may face punishments of fines up to $10,000 and a year in prison. The consequences increase if someone is injured or killed as a result.