A total of $210,000 is being handed out to seven US states to help tackle distracted driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, it is estimated that 3,142 people died in distraction-related crashes in the US in 2020, the most current year for which data is available. Another 400,000 people are injured annually. However, the actual numbers are believed to be much higher due to underreporting.
The Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA), in collaboration with General Motors (GM), is providing $30,000 to seven State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs) to fund projects to help combat the problem.
The initiatives include launching a competition among high school students to create an anti-distracted driving video, broadening current road safety campaigns to target young people, and collecting accurate distracted driving information to influence policies.
“This is the perfect time of year to launch these initiatives,” said GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins.
“The sun sets earlier, so it is imperative that drivers keep their eyes and minds on the road, and their hands on the wheel. Our most vulnerable road users – children trick-or-treating or walking home from after-school activities – are in particular danger due to distracted drivers. We’re thrilled to be working with GM to support these critical state programs.”
States which have been awarded the funding are:
- The Colorado Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office
- The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety
- The Maryland Highway Safety Office
- The Massachusetts Office of Grants and Research, Highway Safety Division
- The Missouri Department of Transportation
- The Montana Department of Transportation
- The Nebraska Department of Transportation