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April 30, 2013
Hundreds of thousands are driving distracted right now

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and at any given daylight moment, approximately 660,000 drivers are using cell phones or manipulating electronic devices while driving—maybe including your employees. That sobering news was delivered by the Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

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According to NHTSA data, more than 3,300 people were killed in 2011 and 387,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver.

The recent survey showed that Americans continue to use electronic devices while driving despite warnings that it causes their driving to deteriorate and can lead to crashes, injuries, and death.

In addition, a new study from the Texas A&M Transportation Institute found that voice-to-text software is not substantially safer than manual texting while driving. Drivers who used these apps on a closed course in the study had equally delayed reaction times to those texting manually: in both cases, texting caused reaction times to double. In addition, drivers spent significantly less time looking at the road while texting, regardless of which texting method they used. Driving performance suffered with both texting methods, though participants using voice-to-text programs felt safer.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood put it bluntly: “There is no way to text and drive safely. Powering down your cell phone when you’re behind the wheel can save lives—maybe even your own.”

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