Save lives, from the workplace to anyplace.
The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate.We focus on eliminating the leading causes of preventable injuries and deaths.
Have questions? Visit our FAQs or contact NSC.
Itasca, IL – The National Safety Council will recognize the 10th anniversary of Distracted Driving Awareness Month this October, kicking off the annual observance with the release of a report that details the science behind distraction and calls on key stakeholders to make life-saving changes. The report reinforces the evidence showing that hands-free is not risk free and in-vehicle systems may not be safer options – an inconvenient truth given that in the 10 years since Distracted Driving Awareness Month was established, 25 states have banned handheld cell phone use because of the belief that hands-free use by drivers is completely safe.
Joined this year by lead sponsor TRUCE Software, a company dedicated to decreasing workplace distraction and improving worker safety, NSC observes Distracted Driving Awareness Month annually to help make our roadways and our people safer. It is usually observed in April but was moved to October because of COVID-19, which has had a troubling impact on traffic safety.
Preliminary data indicates roads were deadlier for the first six months of the year, despite less traffic because of quarantines. While causation is not yet known, reckless behaviors such as speeding, lack of seatbelts and distracted driving all play a major role in risky roadway behavior. The new report, Understanding Driver Distraction, recommends eliminating use of cell phones and interactive, in-vehicle technology while driving in order to help keep all drivers safe on the road.
“The research is clear – we can save lives and prevent injuries if we drive attentively and avoid distraction,” said Lorraine M. Martin, NSC president and CEO. “This October, I encourage all motorists to commit to driving attentively, particularly avoiding cell phone and in-vehicle technology that takes your hands, eyes or mind off the task of driving. Let’s all work together to keep our roads safe and just drive.”
As noted in the report, a multi-faceted approach is necessary to change driver behavior when it comes to distracted driving, including stronger laws and better enforcement. As such, primary enforcement handheld bans are a step in the right direction. However, the report emphasizes that hands-free devices and voice-command systems still create cognitive distractions for drivers. That’s why it’s important for drivers to program navigation devices and music before the drive begins and avoid interacting with these or other apps until the car is safely parked.
The Understanding Driver Distraction report goes on to further highlight that in-vehicle infotainment systems are adding to distracted driving concerns, as these systems can divert driver attention away from the road. The report notes that just because a technology is installed in a vehicle does not mean it is safe to use while driving.
The report calls for strong actions from employers, legislators, drivers, and vehicle and smartphone manufacturers. Among the recommendations:
In addition, NSC provides free Distracted Driving Awareness Month materials – including posters, videos, safety talks and more – at nsc.org/justdrive. Individuals also are encouraged to:
Get the full Understanding Driver Distraction report here. For more information about Distracted Driving Awareness Month, visit nsc.org/justdrive.
About the National Safety Council The National Safety Council is America’s leading nonprofit safety advocate – and has been for over 100 years. As a mission-based organization, we work to eliminate the leading causes of preventable death and injury, focusing our efforts on the workplace, roadway and impairment. We create a culture of safety to not only keep people safer at work, but also beyond the workplace so they can live their fullest lives.
The National Safety Council has a broadcast TV and radio studio at its headquarters, with both HD and SD capabilities. We are happy to accommodate both live and taped interviews and work closely with your station’s tech team. Please direct inquiries to the above telephone number or email address.
ForbesFederal government should provide COVID-19 testing resources to all essential employers, business coalition tells Pence
EHS TodayPandemic safety leadership with NSC President and CEO Lorraine Martin
B2B InternationalLorraine Martin, CEO, NSC on navigating the COVID-19 crisis
Our Mission is Safety
The National Safety Council eliminates preventable deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the road through leadership, research, education and advocacy. Donate to our cause.
The National Safety Council is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) organization.