Distracted driving is a critical public health issue in the United States. In 2013 alone, 3,154 individuals were killed and 424,000 were injured as a result of distracted driving. That’s 10% of all fatal car crashes and 18% of non-fatal crashes. Both teens and adults are affected by distracted driving. In a 2013 AAA study, 57.8% of teens aged 16-18 and 75.4% of adults aged 19-59 said they had talked on the phone while driving in the past 30 days. Additionally, 31% of teens aged 16-18 and 36.9% of adults aged 19-59 said they had messaged while driving in the past 30 days. According to a National Safety Council survey, among parents who drove distracted, 91% said they used their cell phones while their teens were in the car.
We must lead by example!
Distracted driving is more than just talking on the phone or texting. It includes activities such as eating and drinking, talking to passengers, grooming, reading, using a GPS, or using the radio. Parents can also have the added distraction of arguing kids or a fussy baby in the backseat. On average, only 50% of a person’s driving time is usually spent focused on the task of driving.
There are several strategies for tackling the problem of distracted driving. First, as the driver, take responsibility! Finish tasks such as eating or looking up directions before getting in your car. While you’re driving, limit your phone use. Turn off your phone and use an app to share a special voicemail message that you’re driving. Don’t text while driving, EVER! If you receive an urgent call, pull off the road first before answering your phone. Also, be aware of the driving laws in your state. In both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, any type of cell phone use is banned for drivers under 18, and texting is banned for drivers of any age.
By following these tips and others that you find on this webpage, you can help keep yourself and others safe on the road!
Did you know?
- Half of a person’s driving time is typically spent focused on something other than driving. (source: AAA Foundation)
- Driving a vehicle while texting is six times more dangerous than driving while intoxicated. (source: National Highway Traffic Safety Administration)
- In a 2011 CDC study of 18-64 year old drivers, 69% admitted to talking on the phone while driving and 31% admitted to texting while driving in the past 30 days. (source: CDC)
- In 2013, 10% of fatal car crashes and 18% of non-fatal car crashes were related to distraction. (source: Distraction.gov)
- In 2013, 3,154 individuals were killed and 424,000 individuals were injured as a result of distracted driving. (source: Distraction.gov)
- In both Rhode Island and Massachusetts, any type of cell phone use is banned for drivers under age 18, and texting is banned for drivers of any age. (source: Distraction.gov)
Distract Driving Videos
AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study shows distracted teens behind the wheel and the many factors that can cause accidents. This teen is caught on tape moments before the car crash.
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading killer of teens in the United States, taking about 3,000 young lives each year. The "Parents Are the Key to Safe Teen Drivers" video offers information to help parents keep their teen drivers safer on the road.
This one-minute video shows a number of moms and dads pledging to protect their teen drivers—the same way they pledged to keep them safe since the day they were born.
Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teens in the United States. Watch this video to learn more about teen driving and passenger safety from the students of Southfield High School in Michigan.
One text or call could wreck it all.