NJM Launches Slow Down and Just Drive Campaign
Traffic is increasing as agency guidelines ease COVID-19 restrictions, and NJM is asking motorists to Slow Down and Just Drive.
NJM's Consumer Safety team is kicking off its new campaign in conjunction with Distracted Driving Awareness Month. The initiative seeks to put an end to speeding and distracted driving, behaviors that have spiked during the coronavirus pandemic.
Speeding increases the chance of serious injury or fatality in a car crash. The National Safety Council (NSC) reported 42,060 people were killed in vehicle crashes in 2020, an 8% increase from 2019 — despite a 13% decrease in miles driven. The increase in the rate of death is the highest estimated year-over-year jump that the NSC has calculated since 1924.
There was also a 17% increase in cell phone use while driving from January to November 2020, according to Zendrive, a mobility analysis firm. Cell phone use leads to 1.6 million crashes per year, and one of every four crashes in the United States are caused by texting while driving.
Here are eight tips to make sure you slow down and stay focused on the road.
Know the speed limit at all times and never exceed it
Leave earlier for your destination than needed to avoid the urge to speed
Keep a safe distance between your vehicle and the vehicle in front of you
Place your phone on Airplane or Do Not Disturb mode. Never text or read texts while driving
Program your navigation and music selections before you drive
Avoid eating, searching for items, or anything that could divert your eyes from the road
If you need to tend to a child or pet or adjust controls, pull over and park in a safe spot
Be alert for other vehicles that are speeding or show signs of distracted driving
NJM is asking drivers to help put an end to speeding and distracted driving, encouraging them to Take the Pledge and Just Drive. Residents of New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut who are 15 years of age or older are eligible to take the pledge.
NJM also offers free teen driver safety programs as part of its enduring commitment to safety and to support the communities we are privileged to serve. The Teen Driver Safety Programs are available at no cost to schools in Connecticut, New Jersey, Ohio, and Pennsylvania and are also available online.
"Motor Vehicle Deaths in 2020 Estimated to be Highest in 13 Years, Despite Dramatic Drops in Miles Driven" https://www.nsc.org/newsroom/motor-vehicle-deaths-2020-estimated-to-be-highest, March 4, 2021.
"Zendrive Collision Report," https://live.zendrive.com/collision-report.