General Motors
Resource Type
Partner Programs

General Motors (GM) and GHSA are collaborating to reduce distracted driving by providing research and resources to help the State Highway Safety Offices (SHSOs), their partners and other highway safety stakeholders combat this persistent but preventable problem.

2024 Distracted Driving Prevention Grants

In November 2023, GHSA and GM announced $150,000 in grants to two SHSOs to create and evaluate local distracted driving prevention programs in the District of Columbia and Washington state:

  • The District Highway Safety Office is implementing a three-pronged approach to combat distracted driving, including developing and implementing neighborhood-specific campaigns for each of the District’s eight Wards to raise awareness of the danger distracted driving poses for people outside the vehicle.
  • The Washington Traffic Safety Commission is using a multidisciplinary approach to pilot and evaluate a distracted driving prevention project in Pierce Co., the state’s second most populated county. Pre-intervention data is being collected in the county’s 23 cities and at least three active school zones to determine the extent and nature of the distracted driving problem.

A third grant is supporting youth journalists in diverse and underserved communities who will highlight how distracted driving endangers everyone on the road. GHSA is partnering with Youthcast Media Group (YMG), a nonprofit that trains high school and college students from underserved communities, more than 95% of whom are youth of color, to write about and report on often overlooked health and social issues, such as traffic safety. YMG is working with high school student journalists to highlight data illustrating the extent of the problem and show the personal toll of distracted driving through profiles of victims and their families. Youth working with YMG are also develop a digital toolkit that includes social media posts that SHSOs and their partners can use to engage with 16- to 24-year-olds.

2024 Distracted Driving Awareness Month Campaign

Research indicates that peer-to-peer messaging is an effective way to persuade others. The 2024 Distracted Driving Awareness Month campaign featuring General Motors inspired GHSA’s membership and staff to reach out to their peers to change the social norm around distracted driving. GHSA members, staff and the public were asked to post a video online sharing why they choose to be distraction-free and encourage others to share a video as well.

The campaign was a tremendous success garnering support from dozens of members and many partner organizations including FCCLA, Laser Tech, Youthcast Media, SADD, Intoxalock, NRSF, National Safety Council and The Wise Drive. To view all of the videos check out the YouTube Playlist below, or click here.

2023 Distracted Driving Awareness Month CampaignGHSA-GM Distracted Driving Awareness Month 2023 Calendar

Cellphones are a huge part of our lives, from the moment we wake up to the time we fall asleep. The average adult spends approximately three hours every day on their cellphone – that’s the equivalent of a month and a half of 24/7 cellphone usage in just one year. Unfortunately, our addiction to cellphones means that distracted driving is incredibly pervasive – and deadly – on U.S. roads.

Research indicates that it takes as little as 30 days of doing the same thing every day to make it routine. In April 2023, for Distracted Driving Awareness Month, GHSA and GM encouraged all drivers to take a break from their phone whenever they get behind the wheel, with the goal of forming a lifelong safety habit. Stowing your phone means safer roads for not only yourself, but everyone you share the road with – other drivers, passengers, pedestrians, bicyclists and scooter riders.

Follow GHSA’s social media channels (Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn) for more information on distracted driving and how you can help prevent it.

Distracted Driving Report & Previous Grants

GM supported the publication of an action-oriented, recommendation-rich report that takes a new look at distracted driving. The report, Directing Drivers' Attention: A State Highway Safety Office Roadmap for Combating Distracted Driving, includes a summary of the current distracted driving challenges; what the latest research tells us about risks, prevalence, public opinion and policy; the efficacy of distracted driving countermeasures; and what states and other highway safety entities are doing to address this problem.

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

Since the publication of this in-depth report, GHSA and GM have provided more than $400,000 in grants to SHSOs to combat distracted driving.

The first round of grants, announced in October 2022, provided a total of $210,000 to seven SHSOs. Each state received $30,000 to implement recommended actions outlined in the distracted driving report. Learn more about how each state used these funds:

  • The Colorado Department of Transportation Highway Safety Office partnered with distracted driving crash survivors to launch a video contest among high school students, focusing on the counties in the state where more than half of traffic fatalities involve distracted drivers.
  • The Kentucky Office of Highway Safety evaluated its distracted driving public outreach program by convening a series of focus groups to learn which distracted driving messages resonate the most with various demographic and age groups as well as how and where the messages should be delivered. 
  • The Maryland Highway Safety Office brought the fast-paced and engaging ThinkFast Interactive (TFI) program to young drivers in nine high schools in communities with the largest distracted driving problem. 
  • The Massachusetts Office of Grants and Research, Highway Safety Division partnered with Safe Roads Alliance to make its “Kids Speaking Up for Road Safety” program available to elementary school students throughout the state. 
  • The Missouri Department of Transportation broadened its “Buckle Up Phone Down” program by working with three distinct groups: elementary school-age children, high school students and employers. 
  • The Montana Department of Transportation enhanced its partnership with the career and technical student organization Family, Career and Community Leaders of America (FCCLA) by inviting students across the state to develop and launch local distracted driving campaigns in their communities.
  • The Nebraska Department of Transportation teamed up with a technology company to use digital imaging to collect accurate distracted driving information for a broad sample of Nebraska drivers. 

The Kiefer Foundation

Read the personal story of Steve Keifer, founder of The Kiefer Foundation and former president of General Motors International.