This past April, Oprah Winfrey kicked off a campaign she is hoping will change attitudes across America. She devoted an entire show to raising awareness about the dangers of using cell phones while driving.

"The facts are in that texting while driving is as dangerous, some say more dangerous, than driving drunk. Let me repeat that. Texting behind the wheel is the equivalent of having four drinks and driving," she said in her opening monologue.

Winfrey went on to ask everyone in her studio audience - and viewers watching that day - to pledge that they will not text and drive. Then to really bring the point home, she brought on the families of people killed in accidents caused by distracted drivers.

According to the official U.S. Government website on distracted driving,

* Nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted driver, and more than half a million were injured. (NHTSA)

* Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. (Source: Carnegie Mellon)

* Younger, inexperienced drivers under 20-years-old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.

Realizing young drivers are at such high risk, many auto insurance companies companies have started up programs - catered specifically to them - that promote safe driving practices. Allstate's program, for example, recommends that parents:

* Make the car a no-cell zone.

* Consider limiting or supervising their teen's driving privileges during accident high-risk times (such as Friday and Saturday nights).

* Set driving-area limits. If a teen driver wants to travel outside their town or city, require that he or she request special permission.

* Limit the number of passengers in the car. Laughter, music and cell phones can create serious distractions which increase with every additional passenger.

Several states, including Minnesota, have placed limits on the number of passengers that drivers under the age of 18 can have in their vehicle. But that's not the only law passed recently to curb distracted driving. Texting and driving has been banned in 19 states and the District of Columbia. Drivers are only allowed to use hands-free cell phones in seven states and the District of Columbia.

If Oprah Winfrey has her way, cell phone use in cars will eventually be banned altogether. Since the show on distracted driving aired April 30, more than 60 celebrities, including Sandra Bullock, Tina Fey, Sir Elton John, Jerry Seinfeld and the cast of TV's Glee, have taken Oprah's "No Phone Zone pledge," promising to put down the phone when they are behind the wheel.

While Oprah's program has the support of several government agencies and cell phone manufacturers, car insurance companies have taken advantage of all the attention on distracted driving recently to launch their own awareness campaigns.

Courtesy of ARAcontent

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