According to the National Safety Council, this is the second year that the DOT has celebrated Distracted Driving Awareness Month with the purpose of educating and encouraging drivers to stay focused behind the wheel. As part of their effort to crack down on distracted driving, this month you’re likely to see a significant increase in the number of educational advertisements and available information regarding safe driving techniques.
Although the education can be beneficial to drivers of all ages, special programs are designed to target teen drivers. To really drive home their message to the younger generation, more programs are visiting schools, and offering more creative forms of education.
Take a look at a few of these programs working to decrease driver distractions, that go way beyond the typical films from drivers ed.
Choices 301 takes what’s commonly referred to as the scared straight approach when it comes to educating students, by showing them shocking visualizations of the effects their distracted driving can cause. Some of their exhibits consist of putting cars previously in bad accidents on student campuses, to serve as a reminder for what can happen when they get distracted behind the wheel, or if they drink and drive. But the program is probably best-known for its shoe exhibits, in which the tattered shoes of the victims from car crashes are displayed. The shoes serve as a cryptic reminder of why it’s crucial to drive safely.
Ed Frank, the leader of Choices 301, started the program as a way to give back to the community, as well as stress the importance of seatbelt use. A former stock car racer, Frank knows the dangers of unsafe driving, and that they include taking your eyes off the road.
It isn’t everyday that you hear of a wireless company discouraging people from using their products, but that’s just Verizon Wireless did in 2000, when it became the first wireless carrier to step up and support state legislation that banned hand-held cell phone use while driving.
Now they reach out through different programs, like their Save It Seattle initiative. Teaming up with NFL quarterback Russell Wilson, the Save It Seattle initiative encourages high school kids to take a pledge not to text and drive. Not only does the pledge make them think twice before picking up their phones, it holds them accountable for their promise to remain safe.
Verizon also teamed up with actress Regina Hall to advertise the pledge to a worldwide audience, because, as Hall says, “it is all of our jobs to keep our roads safe.”
The Save a Life Tour
While technology can get students into trouble behind the wheel, the Save a Life Tour actually uses it to their advantage. Using the Tour’s multi-million dollar, state-of-the-art, interactive drunk driving simulation, students get a realistic understanding of how alcohol impairs driving skills. Not only is the program offered to high school-aged students, but the Save a Life Tour spread the importance of safe driving by traveling with the simulators to college campuses and military bases as well.
Their program also reveals to students the devastating effects distracted and/or impaired driving can have, by showing heartfelt videos and personal, first-hand stories from victims loved ones.
Do your part to spread the message of safe driving by using the hashtag #justdrive throughout Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Remember, nothing is more important than safety when you’re behind the wheel. Stay focused on the road and be aware of your surroundings. Everything else can wait.