As we all know, distracted driving is extremely dangerous, and the statistics back it up.
Data shows that it claimed 3,142 lives in 2019 alone, nearly a 10% increase from 2018, according to the NHTSA.
While distracted driving is prevalent in all age groups, it is a significant concern among younger drivers. The overwhelming majority (75%) of serious teen driver crashes are due to “critical errors,” with the three common errors accounting for nearly half of these crashes: lack of scanning that is needed to detect and respond to hazards, going too fast for road conditions, and being distracted by something inside or outside of the vehicle.
In 2019, 39% of high school students reported texting or emailing while driving during the past month. Even though teens recognize that talking or texting on a cell phone or using social media apps while driving is unsafe, they often engage in these behaviors anyway.
This is without a doubt a serious problem – so what can we do?
Beyond sharing facts and statistics about distracted driving, parents need to model safe driving behaviors by not using a cell phone – whether hands-free or hand-held – while driving (including at stoplights) and not applying makeup, fiddling with the radio, or eating when behind the wheel.
Parents can also mandate limiting passengers for their licensed teens, a major crash risk. Two or more peer passengers more than triples the risk of a fatal crash with a teen behind the wheel.
If you believe your teen cannot curb his or her cell use habits, there are apps and settings with some phone carriers that allow you to block phone use while their vehicle is in motion. These are easy to install, and honestly, a great discipline for a driver of any age.
Distracted driving accidents do happen, regardless of the effort we give to avoid them. If you or a family member were injured in a distracted driving accident, contact us today at cordiscosaile.com or 215-642-2335.