When we moved from Maryland to Virginia we noticed many distinctions between the two states. One of the scariest differences we saw immediately was that it felt like everyone in Virginia was on their phone WHILE THEY WERE DRIVING! Yes, I am shouting here. People think it is ok to text, play candy crush, or scroll through Facebook while they are driving. It scares the **** out of me! My kids look out through the car windows pointing out to me on the highway all the distracted drivers. Something must be done. For reference, it is against the law to use your phone in Maryland and DC, you cannot even have your phone in your hand or you can get a citation.
Kirk Cousins launched the Phones Down Touchdown safe driving campaign
Kirk Cousins, the starting quarterback of the Washington Redskins, kicked off a new campaign with Transurban, the 95 and 495 Express Lanes, VDOT, AAA, the Virginia State Police, and the Fairfax County Police. The hashtag for this campaign is “Phones Down. Touchdown.” This simple phrase can possibly save your life. If everyone driving would commit to putting away their phones and concentrate on driving we would all be much safer. Kirk said it best, “No text or phone call is worth risking your life or the life of others.” Whatever is happening on your phone can wait. Kirk also shared with us, “I’ve made a career out of playing offense, but when I’m behind the wheel I drive defensively.” We all want to feel safer behind the wheel. Safety begins with putting your phone away.
Distracted driving is a leading cause of accidents, with cell phone use a number one reason for distraction. Fairfax County Commanders Captain Jim De Ford and Captain Bob Blakley both shared some sobering statistics. In 2016 there have been more than 35,000 accidents in Fairfax County and 30 % of these crashes were attributed to cell phone usage. Younger drivers are more likely to use their phones while driving and campaign organizers hope that Kirk Cousins can appeal to the youngest age demographic. Kirk encouraged all of us, “If you see a friend or family member using their phone while driving, speak up.” We all need to work together to eradicate the problem of distracted driving. If you look down and send one quick text while driving 55 MPH it is just like you drove blindfolded across an entire football field without looking at the road.
More than 2.5 million accidents occur each year, and 1.6 million of these accidents are because of cell phones. Distracted driving is attributable to more than 5,000 deaths each year. This number could easily be lowered if everyone took the Phone Down Touchdown pledge. Don’t delay, take the pledge today. Promise to put your phone down every time that you drive and you will be helping to keep our roads safer. Everyone who takes this pledge online will be entered to win a month of free travel on the 95 and 495 Express Lanes. One winner will be selected every week in December and January. Let’s all work together to keep focused on the roads during the busier holiday months.
This post was sponsored by Transurban. All thoughts and opinions are 100% my own.