According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, distracted drivers have been responsible for over 3,000 fatal crashes in 2013 alone, 10 percent of which resulted in teen deaths. The numbers continue to grow at alarming, even epidemic levels. Even teens who consider themselves to be safe drivers have overwhelmingly admitted to texting and checking their phones while driving, and many admit they do this because of pressure from their parents to respond quickly to texts.
More than 50 percent of teens have reported they check their phones while driving to update parents on their whereabouts, and nearly 20 percent revealed that their parents expected a response in as quickly as a minute or less. Other reasons for checking their phones included checking cell-phone applications like Snapchat and Instagram, or to update friends who they are meeting. About 88 percent of teens admit to checking apps while driving.
According to William Horrey, the principal research scientist at the Liberty Mutual Research Institute for Safety, young drivers face pressures to live a lifestyle that is always connected. Teens who feel the need to always be “on” are engaging in dangerous behaviors that lead to bad decisions behind the wheel.
The Dangers of Driving with Distractions
Distracted teen drivers are a part of the approximately 660,000 drivers who use their cell phones and other electronic device while driving, a number that has remained steady for the past 5 years. Other behind-the-wheel distractions for teens include:
- Eating and drinking
- Loud conversations with passengers
- Reaching for items
- Singing/ moving to music
The best way to end distracted driving is to make sure that people are aware of how dangerous it is. As parents, let your kids know that they should never text while they are driving, and set reasonable expectations about when it is appropriate for your child to return your text. It is more important for your child to arrive at their destination safely, even if it means that your text may have to wait.
For more information about distracted driving and to talk to a personal injury lawyer, contact the Law Office of Daniel D. Horowitz, III, P.C. for a free case evaluation.