Ed Day, Rockland County Executive

April 17, 2023
Contact: Beth Cefalu, Director of Strategic Communications (845) 638-5645

April is Distracted Driver Month

Don't Be a Distracted Driver

NEW CITY, NY, - The Rockland County Department of Health, along with highway and local law enforcement officials, the Rockland County STOP-DWI Program, and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), remind residents that April is Distracted Driving Month.

Distracted driving has become a deadly epidemic on our roads, with the cell phone being the most common distraction. Other risky actions include adjusting the radio or GPS, applying makeup, eating, and drinking. According to the NHTSA, in 2021 alone, 3,522 people were killed in motor vehicle crashes involving distracted drivers.

Texting is the most alarming distraction. Sending or reading a text takes your eyes off the road for five seconds. At 55 mph, that's like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed. If you need to make a call or answer a text, pull over to a safe place on the side of the road or turn into a parking lot.

"Texting while driving is 6 times as deadly than driving while drunk. 25% of car accidents are the result of cell phone usage, and 11 teens die from texting and driving every day. It's truly sad. Remain focused while driving. No call or text is worth a death," said Dr. Albert Del Principio, Rockland County STOP-DWI & Traffic Safety Coordinator.

Teens were the largest age group reported as distracted at the time of fatal crashes. Talking or texting on the phone takes your teen's focus off the task of driving and significantly reduces their ability to react to a roadway hazard, incident, or inclement weather. Any distraction while driving increases your risk of crashing. Adults should lead by example by never driving distracted and by having a talk with their young drivers about distractions and all the responsibilities that come with driving.

"Always keep your eyes on the road. Not paying attention to the road while driving not only puts you at risk but your passengers, pedestrians, and others using the road," said County Executive Ed Day.

Motor Vehicle Traffic Injuries are a serious public health problem in Rockland County. They are the fourth leading cause of injury-related deaths in Rockland County, according to the most recent data from the New York State Department of Health. The Rockland County Department of Health, in keeping with its "See! Be Seen!" initiative, is working with the County's Department of Public Transportation and the Governor's Traffic Safety Committee to educate the community on traffic and pedestrian safety measures to keep yourself and your family safe. For more information, visit the Rockland Safe Streets website at

For more information about distracted driving, visit the NHTSA website at