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State, national transportation agencies step up battle to eliminate distracted driving as deaths, injuries pile up

Ed Blazina, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on

Published in Automotive News

The National Distracted Driving Coalition — a group of public and private sector, law enforcement and nonprofit groups — continues to push a strategy to reduce distracted driving.

"Distracted driving is a completely preventable behavior that caused 3,142 deaths and thousands of life-altering injuries in the United States in 2020," said Jeff Brewer, vice president of public affairs for the American Property Casualty Insurance Association, one of the coalition members.

"A call, text, or stream is never worth losing your life or killing someone else on the roads, yet distracted driving fatalities often occur as a result of the use of handheld devices behind the wheel. Despite laws enacted in many U.S. states designed to reduce the use of devices for messaging or texting behind the wheel, cellphone use remains a significantly dangerous problem."

AAA offers a series of tips to avoid distracted driving:

—Complete all preparations, such as adjusting mirrors, seats, sound systems and GPS, before starting to drive.


—Put away cellphones if you are driving by yourself or have a passenger use it if it is necessary to communicate with someone else during a trip.

—Finish grooming, such as fixing hair and makeup, before leaving home.

—Secure children, pets and any other items that can move around the vehicle so they don't become a distraction.

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