A Reflection on Distracted Driving Awareness Month

As we move into May, we have time to reflect on the many inspiring and heartbreaking stories that April brought through Distracted Driving Awareness Month. What were some of the ways people spread the word?

For the month of April, many states observed a zero-tolerance policy for distracted driving[1] and officials wrote up hundreds of citations as a way of showing their communities how serious they were about cracking down on distracted drivers. In one notable campaign in Calvert County, Maryland, dump trucks drove around police officers so that they could look down into other vehicles and catch drivers who were using cell phones. While the laws on distracted driving do vary from state to state[2], all across the nation there was seen a consistent effort to educate through example. Hundreds of citations may have meant hundreds of lives saved.

Even for those who weren’t written up for distracted driving, other opportunities were given to learn about the dangers during Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Through programs like EndDD.org, speakers nationwide met with groups to present the facts about distracted driving. A number of videos, articles, and infographics were spread around the internet in April, including a very shocking ad by The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration that depicts the horrifying consequences one second’s distraction may cause. Even more tragic were the news stories like that of Courtney Ann Sanford of NC, whose ‘Happy Song’ post this April led to her death and reminded us just why we took the time to raise awareness for such a preventable accident.

Distracted driving is still a great danger on our roads: “At any given daylight moment across America, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving.”[3] Your safety is more important than any message you need to send, or any task you need to complete. Help continue to spread the word about distracted driving – awareness doesn’t end in April.

About the Author: Jamie Kessel is a Richmond, Virginia personal injury lawyer with Allen & Allen. He spoke twice at Cosby High School in April to bring distracted driver awareness to over 250 students in the Richmond, Virginia area.  He works primarily in the Richmond and Short Pump offices of Allen & Allen and has represented accident victims and their families in cases involving car accidents caused by a distracted driver.


[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/03/distracted-driving-awareness-month_n_844203.html

[2] To check what the distracted driving laws are in your state, visit: http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/state-laws.html

[3] http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html