Cellphones and other mobile devices for GPS and music are great conveniences, but they can also be deadly.

Your local Cottman Man warns against using these devices while driving, citing statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) that blames distracted driving for as much as ten percent of traffic fatalities every year.

Dangers Of Distracted Driving

“Statistics tell us nearly 3,200 people die every year in crashes involving distracted drivers,” said Randy Wright, President of Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care.

“These are totally preventable crashes.”   Least experienced drivers – our kids who are under 24 – account for 25 percent of all distracted driving crashes.  The sad thing is that these types of crashes are totally preventable.Distracted Driving Danger - Cottman Man - Cottman Transmission and Total Auto Care

To call attention to what safety experts have called “a national epidemic,” NHTSA and police agencies throughout the nation this month are mounting their annual “U Drive, U Text, U Pay” distracted driving enforcement campaign.

Despite the negative attention distracted driving has been getting, use of cellphones by drivers doesn’t seem to be going down. As of a year ago, almost 170 billion text messages are sent every month in the U.S., and at any given moment during daylight hours, 660,000 drivers are using hand-held cell phones while driving.

“As parents, we are the number one influence on what kind of driver our teens become. We set the example for them to follow,” says Wright.

Parents can help young people develop a lifetime of good driving habits with a few simple steps:

  • Talk with your teens and explain that driving is a big and serious responsibility.
  • Set ground rules for when they’re behind the wheel, which should include that when on the road, they must stay off the phone.
  • Make a Family Pledge and have every family member commit to distraction-free driving.
  • Set a positive example for your kids by putting your cell phone in the glove compartment every time you drive.

Cottman On Car Care

“At Cottman, we work to keep your car running smoothly and trouble-free,” said Wright. “We encourage our customers to do their part to be safe on the road by driving distraction-free and setting a good example for teens as they begin to drive.”

Up-to-date information on distracted driving is at the NHTSA site http://www.distraction.gov/