In an effort to make local roads safer, officials, in-conjunction with the , announced this week that they have joined the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” campaign to stop distracted driving. Coventry High School has pledged support to help spread the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but also to everyone else on the road.
“We all know that talking on our cell phones while driving is distracting, but that doesn’t stop most people from continuing to do it,” said Officer Jason Burlingame of the Coventry Police Department. “This effort is intended to educate our community about the dangers of cell phone use and other distractions while driving. We hope that once people see the statistics and realize the danger involved, they will change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families, and others on the road.”
In 2009 alone, nearly 5,500 people were killed and a half million more were injured in distracted driving crashes. That same year, twenty percent of all injury crashes involved reports of distracted driving.
While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual, and cognitive.
The national distracted driving effort focuses on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness, and education – the same activities that have curbed drunk driving and increased seat belt use.
Coventry High School’s campaign seeks to raise awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. Everyone in the community needs to have a part. Parents need to speak to their kids about the risks and consequences that could occur. CHS officials will be conducting school-wide assemblies as well as putting up posters around the school to raise awareness of the danger of texting and driving.
“Every driver in Coventry has a role in this effort,” said Burlingame. “However, we especially want to reach out to parents with teen drivers because we know that statistically, the under-twenty age group had the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.”
Coventry’s goal with this campaign is simple – to save lives by getting drivers to remember that “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.”
See the attached PDF for a copy of the letter from Officer Burlingame that was recently sent home to CHS students.