Why Teens, Smart Phones And Driving Can Be A Deadly Combination
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every day in the United States, more than eight people die and more than 1,100 are injured in traffic accidents caused by distracted driving. In reality, these numbers are likely much higher as many at-fault drivers, who are emailing, texting and checking social media likely don't admit to engaging in these activities prior to an accident.
While drivers of all ages are guilty of driving while distracted, today's young drivers are especially prone to do so and smart phones are widely cited as being the number one cause of distracted driving-related accidents, injuries and deaths.
Drivers ages 16-20 are especially likely to use smart phones and many admit to routinely texting, emailing, searching the internet and using social media while driving. As young drivers in Aurora and throughout the country continue to give in to distractions and take their eyes and focus off of the road, these statistics prove just how serious the problem is becoming.
Alarming Statistics About Distracted Driving
- Since 2015, traffic accidents nationwide have increased by 14 percent
- An estimated 25 percent of crashes involve a driver who was talking on or otherwise engaged with a cellphone in the minutes leading up to an accident
- In more than 50 percent of motor vehicle trips that ended in a crash, a driver was distracted
- From 2015 to 2016, pedestrian fatalities in the U.S. increased by 11 percent
Combating Smartphone Distraction
Today's young drivers have grown up in the age of the internet and smart phones and many use their devices to stay in constant communication with friends through texting and social media. In an effort to address what many safety experts consider to be a growing public safety crisis, parents must play an active role.
Despites what parents of teenagers may think, their sons and daughters are watching and, for better or worse, they often model the behaviors they witness. Parents, therefore, would be wise to practice and model safe driving habits including:
- Silencing smart phones while driving
- Stowing smart phones while driving
- Stopping a vehicle at a safe location when calling or texting are necessary
- Keeping eyes on the road and hands on the wheel
- Obeying traffic laws
- Remaining calm while driving