September 19, 2020: Distracted Driving Awareness Day


WHEREAS, four years ago today, 18-year old Mitchel Kiefer was tragically killed in an auto accident caused by a distracted driver; and,


WHEREAS, the pain and difficulty of that loss inspired the ongoing work of the Kiefer Foundation to dedicate advocacy and engagement efforts to end distracted driving and all associated traffic deaths and injuries through its three pillars of awareness, policy, and technology; and,


WHEREAS, distracted driving is a pervasive and increasing problem, both in Michigan and throughout the United States; and,


WHEREAS, Michigan roads experience an alarming  number of both crashes and fatalities related to distracted driving; and,


WHEREAS, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), each day in the United States, approximately nine people are killed, and more than 1,000 are injured in crashes that are reported to involve a distracted driver; and, 


WHEREAS, according to NHTSA, in 2018, distracted driving claimed 2,841 lives, including 1,730 drivers, 605 passengers, 400 pedestrians, and 77 bicyclists; and,


WHEREAS, the responsibility of reducing injuries and fatalities caused by distracted driving falls on every driver, and we should all do our part by following Michigan law which prohibits texting while driving, promoting distracted driving awareness, and participating in various statewide safe driving initiatives and programs;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim September 19, 2020, as Distracted Driving Awareness Day in Michigan.