June 15th, 2010

UDOT’s not distracted

Uncategorized, by Catherine Higgins.

A new report shows that Utah is among states that are increasing efforts to stop distracted driving

Distracted driving includes many dangerous practices, including texting behind the wheel

Today the Governor’s Highway Safety Association released the first comprehensive study showing how states are enacting laws, developing public education programs and tracking accidents in order to halt distracted driving.

The Utah Department of Transportation (UDOT), in partnership with other agencies, has been fighting distracted driving using a variety of efforts, many of which are mentioned in the report.

“The furor over distracted driving as we know it came about with the availability and widespread use of cell phones in America. Ten years ago, if you were behind someone on the road who had trouble staying in their lane or swerving, you assumed they were driving drunk. Today, many people assume they are driving distracted,” states the report.

UDOT has collaborated with many agencies to fight distracted driving. Some of UDOT’s partners in the effort include the Utah Department of Public Safety, Utah Department of Health, local law enforcement, Utah Safety Council, AAA of Utah, Penna Powers Brian Haynes and others.  Some key Utah efforts mentioned in the report:

  • Distracted driving has been included in Utah’s  Strategic Highway Safety Plan since 2007
  • Utah has collected data on the number of crashes involving distraction of any kind as a contributing factor since 2002
  • Traditional media (television and print) and Social media (Twitter and Facebook) are used  by UDOT to educate the public about distracted driving
  • Educational efforts directed at teens, who are most likely to drive distracted, has been developed and presented in Utah schools

Additionally, the Utah Legislature recently enacted a law banning texting for all drivers.

Links and video:

Curbing Distracted Driving: 2010 Survey of State Safety Programs

Zero Fatalities

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Responses to “UDOT’s not distracted”

  1. I remember a similar campaign regarding drowsy driving. Let’s not forget this third category of “impaired” motor vehicle operators…

  2. Thanks for the reminder, Jesse.

    Catherine Higgins at June 17, 2010 10:22 pm
  3. This is so important to crack down on. We were just rear-ended by a lady looking at a map on her phone. I’d be interested in how you are using Facebook and Twitter to educate the public.

  4. Twitter and Facebook are mostly used to make road users aware of events like public meetings, traffic delay and news on projects. Utah DOT is on Facebook; friend us and you will get lots of transportation news!

    Catherine Higgins at December 14, 2010 1:13 am
  5. Education is by far and away the most important investment to help curb the distracted driving epidemic in this country. It’s nice to see state governments like Utah and my own home state, Washington, taking the necessary steps to make this happen

    Seattle Injury Lawyer at March 14, 2011 4:47 pm
  6. Many cities are now making laws that make talking ona cellphone while driving illegal. I have read studies that show that driving while on the phone produces the same level of imparement as driving drunk.

  7. Great article! I blog often about the dangers of texting and driving as well as basic safety concerns with newer technologies in cars. The statistics are quite alarming when you sit back and get a full scope. The lives that can be saved is truly worth the effort. Good job!

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