NSC, Wireless Industry Join Forces to Prevent Distracted Driving

The National Safety Council and CTIA-The Wireless Association® recently announced a joint education campaign focused on teens and designed to explain the dangers of distracted driving. The campaign--and its slogan, "On the Road, Off the Phone"--includes a television public service announcement and Web site (www.onroadoffphone.org) with information for parents and teens to learn more about distracted driving.

With more than 270 million wireless subscribers in the United States using 2.2 trillion minutes in 2008, mobile devices are ubiquitous in our everyday lives, the groups note. As teens and novice drivers learn the complex task of driving a motor vehicle, they are the most likely group to be involved in vehicle crashes as the result of driver distraction. While texting is easy, fast, and an increasingly popular form of communications with an astounding 110.4 billion sent and received each month last year, it's also incompatible with safe driving--and is a habit that more Americans, especially teens, seem to be developing. In fact, AAA conducted a study in 2007 and found that 46 percent of teens admitted to texting and driving.

"We are pleased to partner with the CTIA to address the critical issue of distracted driving," said NSC President & CEO Janet Froetscher. "Distracted driving is an issue for everyone, but teens are the highest risk group, and texting is a very high-risk behavior. We are hopeful that our communications and PSAs will awaken teens to the risks and help parents communicate effectively with their teens to set and enforce rules that keep teens from engaging in this very dangerous activity."

NSC and CTIA joined other experts, researchers, policymakers, public interest groups, and leaders from various industries to participate in U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood's Distracted Driving Summit in Washington, D.C., Sept. 30-Oct. 1. One of the themes of that summit focused on how education is vital to changing distracted driving behavior.

"On behalf of the wireless industry, we are pleased to be continuing our relationship with the National Safety Council and working with them to educate parents and teens about the dangers of distracted driving. We believe that education is key to changing behavior, and we remind teens and novice drivers--'On the Road, Off the Phone,'" said CTIA President and CEO Steve Largent.

This is the first joint PSA released by the two organizations that focuses on teens and novice drivers.

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