June 21, 2021
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT), along with its highway safety partners statewide, is urging motorists to eliminate distractions while driving this summer. In 2020, there were more than 48,500 crashes in Florida caused by drivers who had diverted their attention. FDOT will be educating drivers on distracted driving prevention during the peak summer travel months through paid, earned, and social media as well as community outreach statewide.
“Driving distracted is extremely dangerous and can turn deadly in an instant,” said Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Kevin J. Thibault, P.E. “We urge all motorists to pay full attention when they are behind the wheel to help ensure their safety as well as the safety of everyone around them.”
“In 2020, we saw far too many crashes in Florida caused by careless, dangerous, and selfish driving behavior that resulted in hundreds of fatalities,” said Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes. “As you drive this summer, respect your safety, respect the safety of your passengers, and respect the safety of other road users by eliminating all distractions and focusing on driving.”
Distracted driving is anything that takes a driver’s attention away from the road whether it’s visually by taking your eyes off the road, manually by removing your hands from the wheel, or cognitively by having wandering thoughts. Additional distractions include: texting, talking, using your phone, adjusting the radio, setting your navigation, applying makeup, eating, or drinking.
Tips to Avoid Distracted Driving:
- Plan your trip. Use FL511 to plan your trip before you hit the road to remove the need to adjust or program your GPS while driving.
- Pull over. If you need to eat or drink pull over to circumvent the need to remove your hands from the wheel.
- Put your phone away. While sending a text message or answering the phone could only take a second, it only takes an instant to crash. Keep your phone out of reach, like in a purse or glove compartment, to resist the temptation to use it.
- Stay Focused. There is always something going on, but it is important to clear your mind and remain focused on the road when driving.
Visit FDOT’s Distracted Driving webpage for information and resources at www.fdot.gov/agencyresources/distracteddriving.
Follow FDOT on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @MyFDOT for updates and safety tips throughout the year.
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