Today, Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin, the Department of Transportation and AT&T will launch "It Can Wait” public awareness campaign, in order to increase awareness of the dangers of texting while driving. This falls on what has become known as the national "Don't Text and Drive" day, aimed to reduce the number of accidents related to distracted driving.
According to the CDC, more than 15 people are killed every day and more than 1,200 people are injured in crashes that involve a distracted driver. According to distraction.gov, the official government website for distracted driving, 3092 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver in 2010 alone.
The CDC said that among those killed every year, the highest proportion is among drivers under the age of 20. In fact, 11 percent of all fatal crashes with drivers under the age of 20 were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
Per Rhode Island law, it is illegal for bus drivers and novice drivers to talk on a mobile phone while driving. It is illegal for any driver to text while driving in the state.
The consequences of distracted driving has the potential to grow exponentially. According to the International Association for the Wireless Telecommunications Industry (CTIA), the number of text messages sent spiked 50 percent, from June 2009 to June 2011.
We want to know: Do you know someone who was involved in an accident as a result of texting? What can parents do to reduce the risk of an accident related to distracted driving?