Did you know that the 100 days between Memorial Day and Labor Day are known as the deadliest days on the road for teenagers? We're right smack in the middle of those days right now, so I wanted to share with you a few of the facts about distracted driving, one of the leading causes of teen driver accidents. Please take a few moments to read this short email from me and share this message with any teen drivers in your family so we can increase their awareness of the risk of driving while distracted.
Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a driver's attention away from the primary task of driving.All distractions endanger the driver, passengers, and pedestrian safety. These types of distractions include:
- Using a cell phone or smart phone
- Eating and drinking
- Talking to passengers
- Reading, including maps
- Using a navigation system
- Watching a video
- Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player
Check out some scary statistics -
- In 2011, 3,331 people were killed in crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 3,267 in 2010. An additional, 387,000 people were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver, compared to 416,000 injured in 2010.
- 10% of injury crashes in 2011 were reported as distraction-affected crashes.
- 11% of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash. This age group has the largest proportion of drivers who were distracted.
- Sending or receiving a text takes a driver's eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind
- A quarter of teens respond to a text message once or more every time they drive. 20 percent of teens and 10 percent of parents admit that they have extended, multi-message text conversations while driving.
We are well aware of the dangers of distracted driving, the consequences of which are often tragic. While many states are putting laws into place (or already have them on the books) to help decrease the number of drivers who drive distracted, we must do our best to educate ourselves, families, and friends about these risks.
At our agency, the safety of you and your family is our Top Priority. Please, don't let yourself or your loved ones become a statistic.
Use this information to make wise driving choices and prevent accidents. For more information about driving while distracted, visit https://www.nhtsa.gov/risky-driving/distracted-driving.