National Distracted Driving Awareness Month Focuses on Myth-Busting


  • Distracted Driving Picture

    Distracted Driving Picture

    April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. | April 02, 2013

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Just the Facts:
  • As National Distracted Driving Awareness Month kicks off, a big focus is on myth-busting and using social media as a way to educate drivers.
  • Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is asking teens and parents to pledge not to drive distracted and to share the pledge on social media channels, including its Facebook page.
  • The National Safety Council wants to debunk the myth that talking on a cell phone is no different than talking to someone in the car with its "The Great Multitasking Lie" effort.

WASHINGTON, D.C.— As National Distracted Driving Awareness Month begins, a major focus is on busting some of the longstanding myths about distracted driving, as well as using social media as a way to educate drivers.

Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy is asking teens and parents to pledge not to drive distracted and to share the pledge on social media channels, including its Facebook page

The National Safety Council wants to debunk the myth that talking on a cell phone is no different from talking to someone in the car with its "The Great Multitasking Lie" effort.

The National Safety Council also is urging all motorists to take a pledge promising to not engage in distracted driving.

The myths addressed by the safety group include the notion that hands-free cell phones are safer than handheld models. Research by Carnegie Mellon University indicates that both methods of using a mobile phone result in the same degree of distraction. Whether holding the phone or using hands-free connectivity, the processing of visual images sent to the brain decreases by 37 percent when the person is engaged in a phone conversation while piloting a vehicle.

Since Distracted Driving Awareness Month was established in 2010 by the U.S. House of Representatives, states and municipalities across the country have taken the opportunity to focus on education programs and, in some cases, step up enforcement of distracted-driving laws.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration says there are at least 3,000 deaths annually in the U.S. from distraction-related auto crashes. At any given moment, 100,000 people are texting while driving, while another 600,000 drivers are talking on handheld cell phones.

The National Safety Council lays out several solutions to mitigate distracted driving. They include the total cessation of cell-phone use while driving, returning calls when not driving and informing others about the dangers of distracted driving.

Edmunds says: What will you do this month in the fight against distracted driving?

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