SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Esmeralda Swartz, Kevin Jackson, Glenn Rossman

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Elite Drivers Urge Motorists to Stay Focused

ARLINGTON, Va., April 21, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today, as part of National Distracted Driving Month, American Trucking Associations is urging motorists to put their cell phones away and focus on safe driving while behind the wheel of a moving vehicle. 

American Trucking Associations logo

In 2012, more than 3,300 people were killed and another 421,000 were injured in distraction-related crashes. In order to reverse this trend, elite drivers are educating the motoring public on how to save lives while driving on our nations' roads.

America's Road Team Captains, professional truck drivers selected for their impressive driving records and commitment to safety, are educating motorists on the dangers of distracted driving.  Distracted driving comes in many forms.  It can include electronic distractions, like navigation systems and cell phones, or more conventional distractions, like interacting with passengers and eating.  

Did you know?

  • Writing or reading a text message takes your eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds. At 55 MPH, that's like driving the length of a football field – blindfolded.
  • If you text while you're behind the wheel, you're 20 times more likely to be involved in a crash than a non-distracted driver.
  • Talking on a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity devoted to driving by 37%.
  • 41 states, the District of Columbia and Guam ban text messaging for all drivers.
  • 12 states and the District of Columbia prohibit hand-held cell phone use by all drivers.
  • Young people are especially at risk: In 2011, 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.

Safety Tips:

  • Stay Focused – Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road at all times.  One small distraction can cause an accident.
  • Put Electronics Away – Put your cell phone away, as well as all electronics, while behind the wheel.  Nothing is more important than getting to your destination safely.
  • Plan Your Trip – Plan your route ahead of time so you aren't distracted looking at a map or navigation system.  Pay attention to highway signs and traffic.
  • Be Aware of Blindspots – Trucks have large blindspots in front, back and either side. Try to avoid lingering in this space and do not cut in front of a truck.
  • Be a Good Passenger - Speak up if the driver in your car is distracted.

"Motorists need to take responsibility for safety as they navigate our roadways and keep their eyes on the road," said America's Road Team Captain Eddie Weeks, a professional driver with AAA Cooper Transportation. "Putting cell phones away, planning your trip and keeping your eyes on the road will save lives."

The America's Road Team would like to remind the motoring public that from driveway to highway, safety requires patience and dedication.

The America's Road Team, sponsored by Volvo Trucks, is a national public outreach program led by a small group of professional truck drivers who share superior driving skills, remarkable safety records and a strong desire to spread the word about safety on the highway. www.americasroadteam.com 

American Trucking Associations is the largest national trade association for the trucking industry. Through a federation of 50 affiliated state trucking associations and industry-related conferences and councils, ATA is the voice of the industry America depends on most to move our nation's freight. Follow ATA on Twitter or on Facebook. Trucking Moves America Forward.

SOURCE American Trucking Associations

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