(Westport, CT) – The Connecticut Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office is launching U Drive. U Text. U Pay., a national high-visibility enforcement campaign for National Distracted Driving Awareness Month in April. In partnership with State and local law enforcement and the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the campaign will step up enforcement efforts to enforce distracted-driving laws between April 1 to April 30, 2021.
Distracted driving is an activity that diverts attention from driving. Not surprisingly, texting while driving is one of the most dangerous distractions. Sending or reading a text takes one’s eyes off the road for 5 seconds and at 55 m.p.h., that is like driving the entire length of a football field with your eyes closed. Additionally, according to the NHTSA driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than intoxicated driving. Operating a motor vehicle requires the driver’s full attention and even a momentary distraction can lead to disastrous results.
In Connecticut in 2019, more than 6,600 crashes were contributed to distracted driving and the NHTSA reported that between 2012 and 2019, 26,004 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver. “Every trip on Connecticut’s roadways—no matter how long or short a trip—should be a safe one,” said Commissioner Joseph Giulietti of the Connecticut Department of Transportation. “We want drivers to focus on the most important task: hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.”
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