Distracted driving continues to result in crashes

Special to The Chronicle

Special to The Chronicle

DOVER – With the majority of people using cell phones, it’s no surprise that crashes involving drivers using cell phones has increased overall. Since Delaware passed the Electronic Communications Device law in 2011, more than 64,000 drivers have been issued citations, according to the Delaware Office of Highway Safety.

In Delaware, male drivers are responsible for about 70 percent of all crashes. However, in crashes involving a cell phone, female drivers are responsible more than 40 percent of the time.

  • Crashes involving drivers using cell phones increases around lunchtime and continues to increase with the sharpest rise during the evening rush hour.
  • Between 2012 and 2015, 62 percent of cell phone related crashes occurred in New Castle County, 16 percent in Kent and 22 percent in Sussex.

The Office of Highway Safety (OHS) is partnering with municipal agencies and Delaware State Police (DSP) to launch a series of statewide patrols targeting drivers who are driving distracted. This focused enforcement started March 2nd and will run through March 17th.

OHS’ media campaign will build on the 2015 campaign. Social media and PR efforts will be increased during this targeted enforcement to encourage a reduction of cell phone use while driving. Drivers are also encouraged to go to www.ArriveAliveDE.com to learn more about distracted driving.

OHS’ media and public relations component to encourage drivers to put down their cell phones will include the following:

  • Press release and social media announcements
  • Radio ads on stations throughout Delaware
  • Ads on gas pump toppers statewide
  • Audio and banner ads (formatted for mobile and desktop) on Google Display Network geared towards Delaware drivers, 16-29 years old and adults, 30 years and older
  • Promoted posts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Hashtags include #JustDrive, #ArriveAliveDE

OHS encourages everyone to remember the following when driving:

  • Focus. If your full attention isn’t on driving, it is a distraction.
  • Hands-free means hands-free. This means NO texting, checking email, using social media, or taking selfies or pictures.
  • Keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road.

Delaware’s Office of Highway Safety works to protect the safety of everyone on the roads, every day of the year. “OHS reminds all drivers to JUST DRIVE! Focus on driving. Put down your cell phone,” says Community Relations Officer Lisa Flowers of the Delaware Office of Highway Safety.

Follow OHS for regular updates on Facebook – ArriveAliveDE, Twitter – @DEHighwaySafe, and Instagram – @DEHighwaySafe, and www.ohs.delaware.gov.

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