When it comes to safe driving, distracted driving should be a big focus. In 2017, the National Safety Council reports over 40,000 people died in automobile crashes. Sure, some accidents can’t be prevented. Distracted driving, however, can—and Distracted Driving Awareness Month serves to highlight this.
Distracted Driving Awareness Month
It’s April, so it’s time to buckle up, sit back and enjoy the ride—safely, that is. If you’re a teen or the parent of one, listen up: This Distracted Driving Awareness Month is a teen-centric one, and the National Safety Council wants to give a few safety pointers to adolescents behind the wheel.
Why Teens Should Pay Attention
New drivers, specifically teens, are more susceptible to distracted driving than any other group. This results in crashes due to lack of experience. Often, the distractions come from smartphone use. In fact, a 2017 Pew Research study determined that roughly 92 percent of young adults—between ages 18 and 29—owned a smartphone.
Teens don’t use their smartphones solely for emergencies and talking, either. Since the smartphone is packed with apps, utilities and all kinds of connectivity options, mobile device owners can talk, text, play games, visit social media, take pictures and take videos.
When Phones Get Dangerous
While smartphones have incredible utility, they’re dangerous when used behind the wheel. Many teens instinctively reach for their phone when it beeps, buzzes or vibrates. Car crashes happen in split seconds, meaning these brief distractions, sometimes, can be fatal.
So, what are the statistics backing Distracted Driving Awareness Month? Every day, about 660,000 people try to use their smartphones behind the wheel. Every year, about 1.6 million crashes occur due to cell phone use. This doesn’t account for the roughly estimated 330,000 injuries occurring each year due to texting and driving.
How Can I Get Involved?
If you are a parent, you can help educate your teen about the dangers of distracted driving. Share stories about texting, talking and app use behind the wheel. You can also get involved with organizations like Impact Teen Drivers, which has taken special interest in this year’s Distracted Driving Month.
If you are a teen, make sure you are aware of the many dangers associated with distracted driving. Police are on high alert for texting while driving, especially during Distracted Driving Awareness Month. If you are between the ages of 18 and 29, you fit the demographic for a distracted driving pullover.
Stay aware out there. The iPhone or Android device can wait. Keep your eyes on the road, and keep your health—and that of others—safe and sound.
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