Sen. Tony Hwang Promotes Distracted Driving Awareness, To Host Forums in Fairfield, Newtown

April 4, 2019



State Senator Tony Hwang and Incoming CT DMV Commissioner Sibongile Magubane encourage you to drive safely, ignore your phone and #DontDriveIntexticated

State Senator Tony Hwang and Incoming CT DMV Commissioner Sibongile Magubane encourage you to drive safely, ignore your phone and #DontDriveIntexticated


HARTFORD — State Senator Tony Hwang (R-28) joined AAA and law enforcement officials today at the Connecticut State Capitol to raise awareness about Distracted Driving Month, which began April 1st. Distracted driving has been on the rise, as cellular phones and motor vehicle technology continues to advance, and has been accompanied by an increase in preventable accidents and deaths. Senator Hwang joined the informational event in advance of two distracted driving forums he is hosting in Fairfield and Newtown at the end of the month.  The forum panelists will include local law enforcement, Neil Chaudhary, CEO of Preusser Research Group, and Mourning Parents ACT (!MPACT).

Nearly 58 percent of drivers say talking on a cellphone behind the wheel is a very serious threat to their personal safety, while 78 percent believe that texting is a significant danger. Research from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety also has found potentially unsafe mental distractions can persist for as long as 27 seconds after drivers use voice-based technology to dial, change music or send a text message. At 25 mph, drivers travel the length of nearly three football fields during this time.

“Most of us are guilty of distracted driving because we naively think nothing dangerous will happen to us. Unfortunately, distracted driving is just as dangerous as drunk driving,” said Sen. Hwang. “When you are not paying full attention to the road in front of you, there is a highly increased chance that you will have an accident as a result of either your own actions or the actions by another you are unable to avoid. We need to take this just as seriously as drunk and buzzed driving because they can lead to the same dangerous result. Our forum will raise awareness of this crucial issue, we hope we can encourage everyone to keep two hands on the wheel and two eyes on the road. Your phone and other distractions can wait.”

“Preusser Research Group has done extensive research in distracted driving for the Connecticut Highway Safety Office, the Highway Safety Offices in several other states, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration and the Insurance Institute for Highway. This research has led us to realize the tenacity of the problem. Rates of distracted driving are stable or getting worse despite law enforcement efforts, strong laws and social norming programs. Our research also shows that this is not just a young driver problem but an all driver problem,” said Neil Chaudhary, CEO of Preusser Research Group, who studies traffic safety for the Transportation Research Board (TRB).

“Most drivers believe that if their eyes are on the road and their hands are on the wheel, then they’re focused on the drive,” says Fran Mayo of AAA Northeast. “But research proves there are hidden dangers when using a cell phone or in-vehicle technology. Mental distractions last longer than you think and can cause a dangerous crash. We as a society have created a ‘do as I say, not as I do’ culture on our roadways.  Drivers understand the risk, they just don’t think they are the problem. With more than 3,400 people killed in distracted driving crashes each year, it’s time for drivers to be accountable. We can save lives.”

Senator Hwang’s Distracted Driving forums are taking place on April 25th in Newtown and April 30th in Fairfield. You can find more information at the Events page on Senator Hwang’s website or follow this link.

State Senator Tony Hwang represents Connecticut’s 28th senate district including the towns of Fairfield, Westport, Weston, Easton, Newtown & Sandy Hook.