Distracted Driving Awareness Month

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.
Distracted Driving picture
“If you’re texting, you’re not driving.” The Department of Transportation calls distracted driving “any activity that could divert a person’s attention away from the primary task of driving.” This includes not only texting but other activities like eating and putting on makeup. The 3 main types of distractions are visual, manual, and cognitive, and texting is particularly dangerous behind the wheel because it requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver.

Here at Urgent.ly, we took the pledge to drive phone-free.
Urgent.ly Distracted Driving pledge
What You Can Do
Take the pledge to drive phone-free and help end distracted driving. Then, encourage your friends and family to do the same. Join the Urgent.ly community in signing our online pledge, then share your pledge on social media to build a visible network of people committed to safe driving.

Distracted driving puts everyone in danger, so take the safety of your community into your own hands. Educate others about the dangers and consequences of driving while distracted. You can start a pledge drive in your local community, write an op-ed in your city or town’s newspaper, or contact your state and local representatives to encourage them to support legislation that bans texting and talking on the phone while driving. The Department of Transportation offers resources including a campaign starter kit for individuals and community groups looking to join the fight to end distracted driving.
Take the Urgent.ly Pledge
In support of the NHTSA and Distracted Driving Awareness Month, Urgent.ly is taking the pledge to drive phone-free in an effort to end distracted driving and create a safer community.

The fight to end distracted driving starts with you. Make the commitment to drive phone-free today.

Distracted driving kills and injures thousands of people each year. I pledge to:
Urgent.ly will not provide your contact information to any third party.

Thank you for your pledge!

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Protect Yourself and Your Loved Ones
When you or someone you love is in an accident, regardless of whether or not it involves distracted driving, you want to know you’re protected. With Urgent.ly’s Accident Detection and FamilyView features, you can ensure that you and those you love will always have roadside assistance when they need it.
Accident detection screen shot
Using Zendrive technology, the Urgent.ly app can sense when you’ve had an accident and pinpoint your location. You’ll automatically receive an alert allowing you to request roadside assistance immediately. You can also specify a contact to receive alerts, giving you peace of mind that someone will be notified if you or a loved one should ever have an accident.
Urgent.ly country notification
FamilyView allows you to connect those you care about to your account so you can be there for them from anywhere. You’ll receive an alert if they request assistance, or you can request assistance for a friend or family member from your phone. The FamilyView feature lets you take control of the situation, watching in real time as your loved one’s help arrives, paying from your card on file, and even calling the service provider yourself.
Read Up on Distracted Driving
U.S. Department of Transportation Campaign
Find out more about distracted driving and Distracted Driving Awareness Month including research, state laws, and FAQs from the USDOT. 
Distraction.gov
U-pay
Additional Resources
More information about distracted driving, efforts to curtail dangerous driving practices, and how you can get involved in the efforts to promote safer driving practices:
Stay Connected
To see the latest from Urgent.ly on Distracted Driving Awareness month, be sure to like us on  Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check out our blog.

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