April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. According to Distraction.gov, a quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. AT&T’s DriveMode app helps curb the urge to text and drive, and now, new Parental Alerts help parents ensure their teens are safe on the road. It’s a big deal for adults and teens, maybe adults more than kids.
In Washington, the Washington Traffic Safety Commission (click here), and law enforcement officers in Washington State will be cracking down on distracted drivers as part of a new national distracted driving enforcement campaign this month. Now through April 15, the high visibility enforcement efforts will target motorists who are observed driving distracted — talking on hand-held cell phones, sending text messages, and otherwise not paying attention to the road while driving.
In Oregon, the Oregon Department of Transportation is supporting a new national distracted driving enforcement campaign (click here). ODOT, Oregon State Police and law enforcement from around the state, along with NHTSA, consider distracted driving to be an emerging highway safety issue that must be addressed. With the month-long designation and a special week of enforcement, April 10-15, it’s a good time for all users of the transportation system to put away the distractions and focus on getting where you want to go safely.
DriveMode automatically starts when it registers that the vehicle has reached 25 MPH and turns off when the vehicle has stopped. If someone texts or calls your son or daughter while the app is on, an auto reply message is sent letting them know their friend is driving, allowing teens to focus on the road. With the new alerts, the app also tells parents when the app is turned off while the car is moving.