Directing Drivers’ Attention: A State Highway Safety Office Roadmap for Combating Distracted Driving

GHSA GM Distracted Driving Report
Resource Type
Partner Funded Publication

GHSA’s report, Directing Drivers’ Attention: A State Highway Safety Office Roadmap for Combating Distracted Driving, offers one of the most comprehensive looks at this pervasive yet preventable traffic safety problem and urges a broad culture shift to make this deadly behavior socially unacceptable.

Download the Report

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), an estimated 3,142 people died in distraction-related crashes in the U.S. in 2020. Another estimated 400,000 people are injured each year in distracted driving crashes. However, the true numbers are likely much higher due to underreporting. The most visible form of driver distraction is the use of electronic devices, but distracted driving can take many forms, including grooming, eating and even daydreaming.

GHSA’s report examines data shortcomings and other obstacles impacting efforts to reduce distracted driving, and reviews SHSO initiatives and the challenges impacting those efforts. The report provides 29 action-oriented recommendations for the SHSOs that cover a wide range of factors that affect distracted driving, including state laws, data collection, education and public outreach, enforcement, infrastructure, safety funding sources, partnerships, and leadership.

Through GM support, GHSA will offer competitive grants to SHSOs to help them implement the recommended actions in the report. SHSOs will be encouraged to test new initiatives and/or expand successful programs, including working with survivor advocates to establish coalitions that can help put a face on the problem, advocate for stronger laws and jump-start a change in the social norm.


Learn more about the report and its findings on this webinar, held on June 16. GHSA staff provided a high-level overview of distracted driving, shared key report recommendations and issued a call to action for State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs). Hal Garling, Jr., Senior Manager, Corporate Grantmaking for GM, offered welcome remarks. Jennifer Smith, CEO/President of, and Russ Martin, GHSA's Senior Director of Policy and Government Relations, then discussed partnering with survivor advocates and other key stakeholders who can help advance policy, provide critical resources and implement initiatives to change the social norm. The webinar closed with an exciting announcement about a new grant opportunity for SHSOs and their partners.

Infographics Available for Download

JPEGs of the following infographics are available for download under "Resource Downloads" below.

Understanding Driver Distractions

Driver Use of Electronic Devices, 2011-2020

Resource Category