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NHTSA Tackles Two Traffic Dangers: Texting & Trains

Texting & Trains: Two Separate Traffic Dangers

During the first week of October, the U.S. Secretary of Transportation issued two press releases announcing new public safety campaigns which will address traffic dangers associated with train crossings and distracted driving.  

Stop. Trains Can’t. 

This train safety public safety campaign is managed by the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and it will run through the first week of November 2020. The $6.6 million campaign will air nationally on social media and radio with the goal of educating drivers not to take dangerous risks at rail crossings.  The ads will also target highway-railway crossings that are deemed high-risk in California, Arizona, Alabama, Indiana, Georgia, Texas, and Tennessee.

The campaign is designed to save lives by raising awareness of very preventable highway-railway crossing collisions.  There is technology evolving that will help reduce rail crossing fatalities but driver awareness has been identified as the key factor in decreasing the death rate.  Because a train cannot stop on a dime or swerve out of the way, it is up to vehicle drivers to use caution and obey all warning signals and descending gate arms.  It can cost you your life if you try to beat a train across the tracks.  

Fatalities over the past five years of people driving across railroad tracks total 798.  Approximately 75% of those fatalities involve a driver that was attempting to go around the lowered arms of a crossing gate.

Watch the YouTube video from the FRA that was released as part of the 2019 Stop. Trains Can’t campaign.

U Drive. U Text.  U Pay

Another public awareness safety campaign announced by the NHTSA last week is part of National Distracted Driving Awareness Week.  The “U Drive. U Text. U Pay” campaign has a budget of $5 million and is targeted at high-visibility areas alerting drivers that across the country law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for drivers using their mobile phones or texting while operating a vehicle.

Approximately 400,000 people were injured and 2,841 people were killed in 2018 as a result of distracted driving.  Even if your car is equipped with the most technologically advanced driver assistance options, taking your eyes and attention off the road is still a significant danger.

This is the seventh year of the U Drive U Text U Pay campaign and it will include ads in English and Spanish on radio, television, and digital platforms.  The ads will be aimed at the highest-risk category of drivers, those in the age range of 18 to 34.  

The campaign offers tips to prevent distracted driving tragedies such as:

  • Put all electronic devices out of reach before you even being to drive to eliminate the temptation to use the device en route.
  • Parents – be a good role model for young drivers.  Set a safe example by refraining from using your phone in the vehicle, and keep an open dialogue about responsible driving.
  • When a driver is using an electronic device while operating a vehicle, speak up.  Offer to text or call on behalf of the driver so that they can keep their full attention on the road.

Vacaville Personal Injury Lawyer

Hello; thanks for reading.  I’m Ed Smith, a Vacaville, California personal injury lawyer.   Vacaville experiences a high number of automobile accidents given its location and traffic volume.  Negligent drivers are a problem on all of our Northern California highways.  If you or anyone you love has suffered injuries in a crash that was caused by a careless driver, please reach out to my office for free and friendly legal advice.  We can set up a no-obligation consultation to determine the best course of action for your claim.   Give us a call at (707) 564-1900.  We also have a toll-free line if you will be calling from outside the 707 area code – (800) 404-5400.

For close to 40 years, I have advocated for injured Vacaville residents.  Here is a link to some of my firm’s successful case results.  Many of my prior clients have written reviews of our legal services; they can be accessed via the links listed below:

Photo Attribution: https://pixabay.com/photos/railroad-crossing-sign-train-railway-1008168/

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