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.
2023 Distracted Driving Awareness Month Campaign
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.
Distracted Driving 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.
In October 2022, GHSA and GM announced a grant program to provide a total of $210,000 to seven SHSOs to combat distracted driving. 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.