"Every Second Matters," an educational event series for the public and designed to curtail distracted driving, kicked off in Hartford, Conn., on Sept. 25, with several future events planned in the U.S. and Canada.
Developed by the Travelers Institute, the public policy division of the Travelers Company, Inc., the event series will focus on the serious risks and consequences linked to distracted driving. It examines the unexpected causes of distractions behind the wheel and encourages all drivers to eliminate disruptions in an effort to make the roadways safer for all.
The initial event was held in partnership with the Connecticut Transportation Safety Research Center, the Connecticut Department of Transportation, the National Safety Council, and the Road to Zero Coalition.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), nearly 3,500 people lost their lives to distracted driving in 2016 alone.
The overarching goal of the new "Every Second Matters" program is to educate people about the dangers of distracted driving behaviors — from swiping on a cell phone to applying lipstick at a traffic light — and provide them with real ways to stay focused on the road.
"Drivers today have more distractions than ever, and it's not just mobile devices that take their attention away from the road," said Joan Woodward, executive vice president of public Policy and president of the Travelers Institute. "Whether drivers are texting, changing a song on the radio or eating, anything that takes their eyes or their mind off the road for even one second can cause a collision."
The "Every Second Matters" series brings together community leaders, researchers and professionals from the public and private sectors to explore why drivers are losing focus, the role of technology in creating and reducing distractions and the opportunities everyone has as a driver, passenger, cyclist or pedestrian to improve safety on our roadways.
Future events will take place this fall in the following cities and universities:
- Tuesday, Sept. 25: Dunkin' Donuts Park, Hartford, Conn.
- Wednesday, Sept. 26: Risk and Insurance Management Society Conference, St. John's, Newfoundland
- Wednesday, Oct. 3 – University of Calgary
- Saturday, Oct. 6 – Gamma Iota Sigma International Conference, Chicago
- Thursday, Oct. 25 – St. John's University, New York
- Tuesday, Dec. 11 – University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia