Coalition warns dangers of distracted driving


XENIA — Greene County Safe Communities Coalition, part of Greene County Public Health, is using the “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All” campaign to help stop distracted driving.

The coalition has pledged its support to help spread the message that distracted drivers are not only a danger to themselves, but also to everyone else on the road.

“We all know that talking on our cell phones while driving is distracting, but that doesn’t stop most people from continuing to do it,” said Jillian Drew, Safe Communities Coordinator. “This effort is intended to educate our community about the dangers of cell phone use and other distractions while driving. We hope that once people see the statistics and realize the danger involved, they will change their driving habits to help protect themselves, their families, and others on the road.”

In 2015, 3,477 people were killed, and 391,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers, GCPH officials reported. At any given time, an estimated 660,000 drivers are using electronic devices while driving during the day across the United States, they said.

“While anything that takes your eyes off the road, hands off the wheel, or mind off the task of driving is a hazard, there is heightened concern about the risks of texting while driving because it combines all three types of distraction – visual, manual and cognitive,” officials said.

The national distracted driving effort focuses on ways to change the behavior of drivers through legislation, enforcement, public awareness and education — the same activities that have curbed drunk driving and increased seat belt use.

GCPH is sharing safe driving messages via social media on their Facebook and Twitter pages throughout the month of April as well as sharing the message at local health fairs and high schools.

“Every driver in Greene County has a role in this effort,” said Drew. “However, we especially want to reach out to parents with teen drivers because we know that statistically, the under-20 age group has the highest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes.”

Greene County’s goal with this campaign is simple – save lives by getting drivers to remember that “One Text or Call Could Wreck It All.”

For more information about distracted driving, visit www.distraction.gov or contact Jillian Drew at 937-374-5683 or by email at jdrew@gcph.info.