The Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV) and its division of the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) has launched a new campaign to coincide with this month’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.

The ‘Put it Down, Focus on Driving’ initiative urges drivers to put their phones down and focus on the road. The campaign aims to educate Florida motorists on the importance of avoiding distracted driving and inform them of current laws against distracted driving.

According to FLHSMV data, distracted driving crashes resulted in 333 fatalities in 2021 – the highest recorded in Florida in at least 8 years.

“When you get behind the wheel you only have one job, and that’s to ensure you and your passengers reach your destination safely,” said FLHSMV Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes.

“More than 56,000 distracted driving crashes happened last year in Florida alone, and 75% of those crashes were caused by the driver being inattentive behind the wheel. Today and every day, pledge to drive how you would want others to drive around you and your loved ones – distraction free.”

The FLHSMV and FHP has issued the following advice to help drivers avoid being distracted by their phone behind the wheel:

  • If you are expecting a text message or need to send one, pull over and park your car in a safe location.
  • Designate your passenger as your “designated texter.” Allow them access to your phone to respond to calls or messages.
  • Do not engage in social media scrolling or messaging while driving.
  • Struggling to not text and drive? Activate your phone’s “Do Not Disturb” feature, or put your cell phone in the trunk, glove box, or back seat of your vehicle until you arrive at your destination.