The U.S. Department of Transportation intensified its message on Wednesday about the dangers of distracted driving with a shocking video on their new website, distraction.gov.
In the video, three carefree teens are seen in a car laughing and talking, when the driver starts texting on her phone, unaware of the approaching stop sign — the outcome is catastrophic.
The disturbing video was released as part of National Distracted Driving Month. According to the DOT, 27 percent of distracted drivers in fatal crashes are in their twenties. In 2012, more than 3,000 people were killed in accidents from distractions and about 421,000 people were injured.
"Texting and cell phone use behind the wheel significantly increases a driver's risk of crashing," Anthony Foxx, secretary of transportation, said on the website. "Even a single, momentary distraction while driving can cause a lifetime of devastating consequences."
A University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute found that 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit they have had long, multi-message texting conversations while driving. But distracted driving doesn't necessarily involve just a cellphone; it can include eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, using the navigation system and even adjusting music, the DOT's website said.
— Alessandra Malito
First published April 3 2014, 12:03 PM