The Cannon County Rescue Squad, Inc, will be partnering with the Tennessee Highway Safety Office to promote the second annual Thumbs Down to Texting and Driving campaign during the month of April.
April is nationally recognized as Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Agencies participate in the campaign by providing information and increasing awareness in their communities about the dangers of distracted driving.
"Texting and driving requires motorists to take their eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, and mind off the task of driving. This is a recipe for a crash, and that's a scary thought. It's arrogant and selfish to think that your dangerous and illegal behavior is acceptable. No one has the right to put another person's life at risk like that," said Tim Bell, Chief Operating Officer.
Texting and driving in Tennessee can result in a $50 fine for a driver of any age. For young drivers who have Learner's Permits or Intermediate Restricted licenses, cell phone use of any kind while driving is illegal.
Preliminary data reveals that in 2015, Tennessee experienced its highest number of known distracted driving crashes at 22,964. These crashes resulted in the death of 51 people. Each day, twenty-five individuals on average are injured in a crash caused by a distracted driver. Nearly twelve percent of all crashes in Tennessee last year were caused by someone who was driving distracted.
"Crashes caused by distracted drivers have more than doubled in the last decade," said Tennessee Highway Safety Office Public Information Officer Amanda Brown. "Each day, nearly sixty-three people in Tennessee are distracted by something in their vehicle, whether it is a phone, food, the radio, or something else, and they hit someone. We all have to start taking responsibility for our actions and make the choice to focus on one thing - the road."
For more information about the Thumbs Down campaign or to learn more about texting and driving, visit www.thumbsdowntn.com.