Every year, thousands of adults are seriously injured or killed statewide in vehicle crashes caused by distracted drivers – crashes that are 100% preventable. To help combat this issue, the California Highway Patrol is launching a statewide “Distracted Driving Education for Adult Drivers” traffic safety program.
During the year-long education and enforcement campaign that will run through September 2023, the CHP will conduct at least 80 enforcement operations targeting adult distracted drivers and 600 adult traffic safety presentations. These efforts will complement the CHP’s program combatting teen distracted driving.
With multiple modes of communication and instant entertainment at their fingertips, cell phone use is the biggest driver distraction. From Oct. 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2022, CHP officers issued approximately 57,446 citations for cell phone violations. Last year, 9,733 people were injured and 96 people were killed in crashes in California caused by distracted driving.
“The CHP encourages drivers to make the conscious decision not to drive distracted every time they get behind the wheel,” CHP Commissioner Amanda Ray said. “Every distraction affects a driver’s reaction time and circumstances can change without notice. Ultimately, it is never worth the potentially devastating consequences.”
Some of the most common types of adult distracted driving includes texting, talking on a cell phone, eating, grooming, talking to passengers, operating a navigation system and adjusting the radio.
The heightened awareness and increased enforcement are designed to encourage adult drivers to recognize the dangers of distracted driving and reduce the number of people impacted by this reckless, preventable behavior.
Funding for this program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.