Don’t Drive Drunk or Distracted, 25 People Have Died on Hawaiian Roads in 2021

April 6, 2021, 10:12 AM HST
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Drive Aloha is a community initiative by DTRIC Insurance to promote traffic safety on Hawaiian Roads. Logo Courtesy.

April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and DTRIC Insurance is encouraging the public to Drive Aloha, a community initiative to remind motorists about the importance of driving safely.

Maui police are enforcing zero tolerance to distracted driving now through April 11, as part of the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s U Text U Pay Distracted Driving Awareness campaign.

Although traffic dropped significantly last year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, crashes still are taking place on Hawaiian roadways and highways because of dangerous driving behavior. As of March 31 of 2021, there have been 25 traffic deaths in Hawaii, compared to 21 at the same time last year, according to figures from the State Department of Transportation.

According to the latest statistics from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving claimed 3,142 lives in the United States in 2019.

Talking on a cell phone (even those hands-free models) or texting or programming an in-vehicle infotainment system diverts your attention away from the road and your surroundings. Keep yourself and others around you safe and #justdrive.

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“As a locally-based insurance company serving our community, DTRIC wants to remind everyone about driving distractions in an effort to prevent senseless accidents and fatalities on our roadways,” said DTRIC Insurance President and CEO Michele Saito. “If you’re multi-tasking behind the wheel, your attention isn’t on the road or your surroundings. Remember, all it takes is one brief moment in taking your eyes off the road to phone or text that can lead to a serious crash.”

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Tips for distraction-free driving:

  • Put your cell phone away. Never text or use other electronic devices while driving. And avoid using cell phones, even those with hands-free options.
  • Be set before you start the car. Adjust mirrors, seats, radio, GPS and other devices before driving. 
  • Focus on the road. Avoid eating, applying make-up, shaving and other activities that take your eyes off the road.
  • Properly buckle-up the kids. Minimize backseat distractions from children by properly buckling them into their car seats. The NHTSA says car crashes are a leading cause of death for children ages 1 to 13. That’s why it’s important to choose the right car seat, install it correctly, and make sure your child is properly buckled in to keep them safe.

For more safety tips on safe driving, visit www.drivealoha.com.

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