Just Drive.

Every glance away from the road, every second lost in thought, and every distraction that pulls our attention away from driving risks not just our future but the futures of everyone around us.

 

April is “Distracted Driving Awareness Month” and the County of Santa Clara Emergency Medical Services are working to increase awareness about distracted driving.

Take the PledgeMedia Toolkit

Our Goal

Our campaign is more than a message; it’s a movement. It’s a call to action that resonates with the single, most impactful choice you can make as a driver.

Just Drive.

Every moment your eyes are on the road, you’re steering towards a safer future for everyone.

Join us in Pledging

Campaign launch media event

  1. Focus on the Road: Every journey, every time.
  2. Silence the Distractions: Before you start the engine, make a habit of silencing your phone.
  3. Speak Up for Safety: Encourage friends and family to take the pledge and commit to focused driving.

Take the pledge

I pledge to drive with my attention undivided and to prioritize life over distractions. I commit to driving distraction-free for the safety of myself, my loved ones, and all on the road. I pledge to lead by example and effect change in others.

Your Pledge Counts

Thank you for taking the pledge! Every pledge is a promise to yourself and everyone who shares the road with you. By taking the pledge, you join a community of drivers dedicated to making our roads safer, one focused driver at a time.

Your Voice.
Our Community.
Our Road Safety.

Every pledge can create ripples across our communities, inspiring more drivers to make safer choices to avoid distractions. Your involvement is crucial to amplify our message, reaching hearts and minds and saving lives. Together, we can build a future where every journey is safe. Let’s drive toward a safer tomorrow together.

  • Join the Movement by becoming a Social Media Ambassador using #JustDrive
  • Share your commitment to drive distraction-free on social media. Challenge friends. Become an advocate for change. Together, we can make our roads safer.
  • With every post, hashtag, and story, you will help build a culture of safety and awareness.

Facts and Statistics

Distracted driving is any activity that diverts attention from driving, including talking or texting on your phone; eating and drinking; talking to passengers; browsing for music; entering map instructions — anything that takes your attention away from driving.

In 2021, there were 3,522 fatalities in U.S. vehicle crashes tied to distracted driving. Distracted driving accounted for 8% of all fatal crashes nationwide.1  Committing to change and avoiding certain behaviors can make a significant difference and save a life.

In 2022, an alarming 6.5% of drivers aged 16 to 24 were observed manipulating handheld devices while driving, the highest rate recorded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration since monitoring began in 2005.2  This data emphasizes the importance of our message and underscores the urgent need to educate and empower young drivers to prioritize road safety and avoid distractions.

In 2023, Travelers Insurance issued a Risk Index identifying technology as the top cause of dangerous distracted driving.3

woman driving holding cell phone

The Role of Technology

The top activities drivers cited:3

  • Making or receiving calls (80%).
  • Using handheld devices (57%).
  • Posting social media updates (28%).
  • Taking photos or videos (27%).
  1. 3. Travelers 2023 Risk Index: https://investor.travelers.com/newsroom/press-releases/news-details/2023/2023-Travelers-Risk-Index-Reveals-Top-Causes-of-Distracted-Driving/default.aspx
woman driving safely

Tips for Distraction-Free Driving:

  • If it’s that important, pull over!
  • Use your car’s voice controls.
  • Give your phone to a passenger.
  • Keep your phone on silent mode.
  • Use your phone before you leave/drive.
  • Put your phone in the glove compartment.
  • Teach by example.

Background

Between 2018 – 2022, there were over 2000 crashes involving distracted driving in Santa Clara County, a concerning statistic that underscores the need for effective public awareness and behavioral change. Distracted driving, stemming mainly from mobile device usage, affects not only drivers but also pedestrians and cyclists.

Research indicates that there are three main ways in which drivers become distracted:

  • Taking their eyes off the road.
  • Taking their hands off the wheel.
  • Diverting their mind from driving.

It’s the Law!

In 2006, the California legislature passed a law requiring that cell phones be used “hands-free” while drivers are behind the wheel. This law created a $20 fine for the first offense, increasing to $50 for subsequent offenses. The law, SB 1613, was authored by then-State Senator Joe Simitian and took effect on July 1, 2008.5

To help save more lives, Simitian introduced two follow-up bills:

  • SB 28 bans texting while driving.6
  • SB 33 prohibits drivers under 18 from using a wireless telephone, even if equipped with a hands-free device or while using a mobile service device.7

Both bills became law.

Additional legislation was needed to keep pace as technology advanced, creating more potential distractions for drivers.

  • SB 194 (Galgiani) prohibits drivers under 18 from texting even if using voice-operated, hands-free technology.8  This bill became law in 2014.
  • AB 47 (Daly) adds a point to a driver’s Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) record, in addition to the fine, for those who violate the ban on using a handheld electronic device while driving within 36 months of a prior conviction for the same offense.9

      1. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813443
      2. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Traffic Safety Facts: Driver Electronic Device Use in 2022 https://crashstats.nhtsa.dot.gov/Api/Public/ViewPublication/813531#:~:text=The%20 estimated%206.5%20 percent%20of,and%202022%2C%20by%20major%20characteristics.
      3. Travelers 2023 Risk Index: https://investor.travelers.com/newsroom/press-releases/news-details/2023/2023-Travelers-Risk-Index-Reveals-Top-Causes-of-Distracted-Driving/default.aspx
      4. Analysis of California Highway Patrol’s Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System conducted by County of Santa Clara Public Health Department.  Data available at https://www.chp.ca.gov/programs-services/services-information/switrs-internet-statewide-integrated-traffic-records-system.
      5. SB 1613 https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/billNavClient.xhtml?bill_id=200720080SB28
      6. SB 28 Bill Text – SB-28 Motor vehicles: electronic wireless communications device.
      7. SB 33 Bill Text – SB-33 Vehicles: wireless telephones and mobile service devices. (ca.gov)
      8. SB 194 Bill Text – SB-194 Vehicles: electronic wireless communications device: prohibitions.
      9. AB 47 Bill Text – AB-47 Driver records: points: distracted driving. (ca.gov)