April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Driver distraction continues to be a major factor that results in traffic fatalities and serious injuries. The Hastings Police Department will join law enforcement agencies nationwide April 1-8, 2024, to remind drivers about the dangers and consequences of distracted driving. This annual campaign is part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) U Drive. U Text. U Pay Mobilization. The Hastings Police Department is able to participate in this effort in part from a grant received by the Nebraska Department of Transportation – Highway Safety Office.

According to NHTSA, between 2012 and 2019, 26,004 people died in crashes involving a distracted driver. In 2020 and 2021, fatalities resulting from distracted driving rose 12% and in 2021, 3,522 people lost their lives to a distracted driving crash. A distracted driving crash is any crash where the driver was identified as being distracted from the task of safely operating the motor vehicle at the time of the crash. These numbers are likely underreported as the distracted driving behavior is difficult to determine during the post-crash investigation. 

While younger drivers, 16 to 24 years old, are the most distracted drivers, often using their cell phones to talk, text, and scroll through social media while behind the wheel, older drivers are distracted as well, often dealing with children in the vehicle, eating food, and using their cell phones as well.

From April 1– 8, the Hastings Police Department will increase patrol efforts attempting to identify and stop distracted driving. Enforcement efforts will focus on the illegal use of handheld wireless communication devices. 

Distracted driving is an increasing habit that is putting everyone at risk. We want drivers to focus on the most important task: hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. 


Published Date: 03/26/2024

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