Safety Officials Use Social Media To Call Attention To Distracted Driving
Distracted driving has long been identified as a problem on U.S. roads, and is one of the leading causes of car accidents and injuries. While the majority of states, including Florida, have cracked down on using cellphones and other handheld devices behind the wheel, many people continue to engage in texting, email, taking photos, and other types of driving distractions. Posting to social media is one of the leading concern in terms of driver distraction, and safety officials are now using it to call attention to the problem.
Twitter Hashtag Highlights Driving Dangers
Twitter is one of the leading social media platforms, and requires posters to share their views using 140 characters or less. Popular or trending stories are grouped together using the number symbol (#), which is known as a hashtag, allowing others to gear their comments towards the same subject.
In April of 2016, the National Highway Traffic Administration (NHTSA) began using the Twitter hashtag #justdrive, as part of a campaign to highlight distracted driving dangers. Since then it has gotten thousands of posts from concerned individuals, law enforcement agencies, and non-profit groups throughout the country, all focused on illuminating the problem and encouraging drivers to stop this behavior. Recent posts have included:
- Warnings about driving distracted during the 2017 eclipse;
- Statistics on the numbers of people involved in distracted driving accidents;
- Campaigns in which motorists can take a pledge to drive distraction free;
- The latest studies and tools eliminating why distracted driving is so dangerous.
This last addresses how distracted driving can involve physical distractions which cause you to take your hands off the wheel, visual distractions that cause you to take your eyes off the road, and cognitive distractions, which take your focus off driving. Texting and posting to social media while driving is particularly dangerous, as it involves all three of these types of distractions.
The Dangers Of Distracted Driving
At any given point each day on the nation’s roads and highways, an estimated 660,000 drivers use their phones while behind the wheel, putting themselves, their passengers, and others in danger. Statistics on distracted driving from the NHTSA are alarming:
- Driving distracted is a leading contributing factor in nearly 3,500 motor vehicle deaths each year;
- It causes serious and potentially life threatening injuries for more than 350,000 other drivers annually;
- Drivers who are distracted are also a leading cause of bicyclist and pedestrian injuries.
Taking your eyes off the road for even five seconds is the driving equivalence of traveling an entire football field with your eyes closed. Through the NHTSA’s social media campaign on Twitter, they hope to dissuade some of the worst offenders, while warning others of the dangers.
Reach Out to Us for Help Today
One way to help discourage this behavior is by holding distracted drivers accountable when car accidents and injuries occur. If you have been involved in this type of accident, contact the Law Office of Steven G. Lavely right away. We can arrange a free consultation with our Florida car accident attorney for you in our Bradenton or St. Petersburg office. Call or contact us online today to see how we can assist you.