Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval
“Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on our roads.” –Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval
SANTA FE — The New Mexico Department of Transportation Traffic Safety Division (NMDOT-TSD) reminds drivers of the deadly dangers and legal consequences of distracted driving.
Traffic is steadily increasing as COVID-19 restrictions are slowly lifted. The department is launching a new spring 2021 JUST DRIVE campaign to bring awareness to the consequences of distracted driving. The social media video is narrated from the perspective of a child, who describes the results of texting while driving. The narration is supported by childlike drawings, which become animated.
The spots will debut in April to coincide with Distracted Driving Awareness Month.
In 2019, distracted driving killed 3,142 people in the united states, a 10 percent increase from 2018 according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).
Nationally, more than 700 people are injured in distracted driving crashes each day according to the National Safety Council (NSC). In New Mexico there were 167 fatalities related to distracted driving and more than 21,000 distracted driving crashes in 2019.
While texting behind the wheel tops the list of distractions, other risky actions include:
- Talking on the phone or to others in the vehicle;
- Setting navigation systems or looking at directions;
- Finding a radio station, podcast, audiobook or downloading music;
- Eating and drinking beverages;
- Applying makeup; and
- Distractions related to children in the vehicle.
“Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on our roads,” Transportation Secretary Mike Sandoval said. “It’s time to regroup and take responsibility for the choices we make when we’re driving.”
Follow these safety tips for a safe ride every time:
- Pull over and park if you must read or send a text, otherwise it can wait;
- Designate a passenger as your “designated texter or caller”;
- Never scroll through social media or other apps while driving; and
- If you struggle to put the phone away, keep it out of reach while driving.