Distracted driving results in nine deaths every day in the United States, killing 3,522 people in 2021. This is a staggering statistic that can impact any family at any time.
Therefore, these are some things you should know about distracted driving.
What is distracted driving?
Driving distractions are anything that removes your eyes, thoughts or hands from your driving tasks. For example, you may move your hands to change the radio station or eat, take your eyes off the road to check your navigation or think about your errands while you drive to the store. Any visual, cognitive or manual distraction places you at risk.
Who is most affected?
Unfortunately, teens and young adults more frequently drive distracted than those over 20 years of age. For example, a 2019 survey found that nearly 40% of teens admitted to using their phones to text and email while they drove.
Those aged 15-20 were more likely to drive distracted. In fact, those under 20 have a three times higher fatality rate in car accidents in which they were drivers. In addition, distraction was a factor in 58% of teen accidents.
How can you help?
You need to not only act as an example for your teens, but you should teach them about distracted driving also. Avoid distractions, especially looking at your phone, when you drive your teens around. Then, encourage them to take a driver’s safety course and teach them about the statistics associated with distracted driving. You can also support local laws that discourage distracted driving.
You have a responsibility to learn about the dangers you and your children could face on the road, and you can be an example and voice in your community to promote healthier driving habits.