Our phones have become so integrated into our lives that we rarely ignore an alert - even when driving. Maybe we don't even realize it when we're doing it. Maybe we think we're the ones who can do it safely; other drivers are dangerous. But the truth is that reaching for your phone can increase your chances of getting into an accident by 700%.
On December 22, 2017, cyclist racer Jason Lowndes died at at 23 years old while training near his Australian home. He was killed by a distracted driver who had been texting for 15 minutes before crashing into Jason.
Jason was an exceptional athlete and a great friend to many, yet his story has unfortunately become common. Cyclist or not, most of know at least one person who’s been in a crash involving a distracted driver.
Too many people have died from texting and driving. That is why we have pledged to leave our phones alone while driving . Every time. And on December 22, we will be putting down our phones all day.
Don't Text and Drive Day - December 22, 2019
Lead by our friends at Garneau, we are talking about the tragedy of Jason’s death so we can all be mindful of how dangerous distracted driving is.
On December 22, we will be putting our phones down for International Don’t Text and Drive Day. It will remind us to be more present, both in and out of the car. We hope everyone takes time to contemplate the human cost of texting and driving, which affects cyclists, pedestrians, runners, as well as other motorists. It’s time for it to stop.
Distracted Driving by the Numbers
Don’t just take our word for it. Head over to teensafe.com to read statistics about distracted driving and tips for encouraging people to break the habit. Here are some to remember:
- Texting and driving kills 11 teens every day.
- Reaching for your phone increases your risk of crashing by 700%.
- The United States Department of Transportation reported the cell phones are inolved in 1.6 million auto crashes each year
- This results in half a million injuries and 6,000 deaths annually.
- Brake reaction speed is slowed by up to 18% when someone is texting while driving.
- Holding a phone in one hand while navigating slows reaction time by 46%.
What You Can Do
- Stop Texting and Driving. Today. And share on your social channels why you've decided to do this with the hashtag #donttextanddrive.
- Join us on December 22 and put your phone down. This will be a day of reflection that we hope will touch millions of people around the world, and we will do it every December 22, in honour of Jason and all the people who have died senselessly.
- Purchase the “No texting while driving” wristband for $5 so you or a loved one can have a constant reminder to leave the phone alone. Shipping is free, and all proceeds from sales of the bracelet will go to families who have lost loved ones to distracted driving.