Driving while distracted is one of the deadliest modern roadway offenses. According to statistics from the Center for Disease Control, at least nine people are killed and approximately 1,000 are injured every day in an accident with a distracted driver.
Teens are particularly at risk for distracted driving. The combination of inexperience and temptation from peers and technology creates a dangerous potential for accidents.
Have the talk about distracted driving early and frequently to reduce the chances that they will become a statistic.
Distracted driving falls into three main categories:
- Not fully watching the road ahead
- Not keeping your hands on the wheel
- Becoming mentally distracted while driving
All three of these involve cellphone usage. However, it doesn’t take sending a text message, checking social media or making a phone call to create a danger. Other scenarios where distracted driving is a problem can include:
- Changing the radio station or music
- Becoming distracted by or focused on something out the window
- Getting lost in thought
- Eating and drinking
- Having passengers in the vehicle who take attention off the road
- Reaching for something elsewhere in the car
A consequence of these things is that the reaction time on the road is greatly reduced. The CDC estimates that a car traveling at 55 mph can cover the distance of an entire football field during the five seconds your eyes are off the road. This can be dangerous or even deadly if there are any oncoming hazards.
Your teenage driver should be well-equipped with the knowledge about how serious of a problem distracted driving is. Establish a set of rules, and make sure there are consequences for breaking those rules.
By monitoring your teen’s driving habits and educating them about distracted driving, you might be saving a life.