July 03, 2014

Missouri Department of Insurance launches summer campaign against distracted driving

New promotion aims to educate teens about the impact of distracted driving

Jefferson City, Mo. - Today, the Missouri Department of Insurance announced the launch of a new campaign targeting distracted driving. The MO Eyes on the Road campaign will actively engage parents and teens through social media, public service announcements, publications and online information.

"Getting behind the wheel and allowing distractions to take your eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, can have disastrous consequences," said John M. Huff, director of the department. "Too many drivers do not think about these consequences. We want to encourage teens to make the right decision. Making the wrong choice, driving while distracted, can have long-term financial consequences, even death."

Traffic accidents can result in suspension of a driver's license, increased insurance costs, and injury or death. According to the Missouri Department of Transportation, Missouri teen drivers comprised about 13 percent of inattentive driving fatalities from 2010-2012. Individuals under the age of 25 made up over 30 percent of traffic fatalities, the largest of any age group.

The department will be offering information on distracted driving and reaching out to parents and teens throughout the summer to remind them to keep their eyes on the road. Parents and teens can fill out the Teen Driver Contract at moeyesontheroad.com to support and commit to no more distracted driving.

Distracted driving includes any activity that can divert a person's attention from driving, to texting or using a cell phone, to eating and drinking, to adjusting the radio. In 2012 alone, 3,328 people were killed nationally and an estimated 421,000 were injured in crashes involving a distracted driver. Traffic crashes is the leading cause of death for people 15-20 years old.

Take the pledge, get information and join the movement at moeyesontheroad.com.