For the first time, the U.S. Department of Transportation has launched a national advertisement campaign and "high-visibility enforcement crackdown" to discourage drivers, especially young drivers, from using handheld electronic devices while behind the wheel.
The centerpiece of the $8.5 million multiplatform effort is a 30-second video that dramatizes the devastating consequences for teenagers in a car when the driver looks down at her phone and goes through a stop sign.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates 3,328 people were killed and another 421,000 injured in crashes related to distracted drivers during 2012.
The DOT said advertising and enforcement programs in California and Delaware reduced hand-held phone use by about a third.
- By CNBC.com staff