“Red Thumb Day” and the Effort to Stop Texting and Driving

a red painted hand showing one thumb up, isolated
a red painted hand showing one thumb up, isolated

Texting and driving is one of the biggest hazards on the road today. Unfortunately the proliferation of cell phones and other handheld electronic devices has lead to many using them behind the wheel, with particular concern for young people. There are many efforts to protect drivers and convince people not to use their cell phones while driving.

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration reports that at any moment during the day, 660,000 drivers are fiddling with their phone or other handheld devices while driving. The same report states that in 2011, 3300 people were killed and a further 387,000 were injured due to distracted driving, including texting.

The Public Efforts to Stop the Texting and Driving Epidemic

There has been an effort to stop the epidemic of accidents caused by this error. Nissan hosted a nationwide day of recognition called Red Thumb Day. Observed last December 16th, the idea was to have drivers paint one of their thumbnails red in order to remind them not to text and drive. The exact number of people involved is not known, but even one accident prevented was worth it.

More information can be found on a similar effort in Britain at the effort’s webpage. There is also Facebook page intended to increase awareness of the issue. Nissan has gone all out, as can be seen on their site. Texting and driving won’t go away overnight, but this effort is one of many that can remind us of the ways we can reduce it every day. Every driver has the choice of driving distracted or not and a way to prevent it.

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