The statistics are frightening:
- 77 percent of young adults are very or somewhat confident they can safely text while driving
- 55 percent of young adult drivers say it is easy to text while driving.
- 13 percent of drivers age 18-20 involved in a crash admitted to texting or talking on the phone just prior to the crash
And yet, texting and driving is now the leading cause of death among teenagers, according to a 2013 study by the Cohen Children’s Medical Center in New Hyde Park, N.Y. More than 3,000 teens die each year in crashes caused by texting while driving, compared with approximately 2,700 teens killed in drunken driving accidents. More than 50 percent of teens in the study admitted to texting while driving.
Think that’s troubling? There’s more.
DoSomething.org compiled these “11 Facts About Texting and Driving”:
- 5 seconds is the minimal amount of attention that a driver who texts takes away from the road. If traveling at 55 mph, this equals driving the length of a football field without looking at the road.
- Texting makes a crash up to 23 times more likely.
- Teens who text while driving spend 10 percent of the time outside their lane.
- According to AT&T’s Teen Driver Survey, 97 percent of teens agree that texting while driving is dangerous, yet 43% do it anyway.
- 19% of drivers of all ages admit to surfing the web while driving.
- 43 states, plus D.C., prohibit all drivers from texting.
- According to CTIA.org, in the month of June 2011, more than 196 billion text messages were sent or received in the United States, up almost 50 percent from June 2009.
- 40 percent of teens say that they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone.
- The most recent National Occupant Protection Use Survey finds that women are more likely than men to reach for their cell phones while driving.
- According to 77 percent of teens, adults tell them not to text or email while driving, yet adults do it themselves “all the time.”
- 9 in 10 teens expect a reply to a text or email within five minutes or less, which puts pressure on them to respond while driving.
We should remember that we model behavior for our children. If we are using our cell phone inappropriately when driving, it is more likely they will, too.
Please share these facts with your teen. Then, ask them to watch the video at the link below. Volkswagen teamed up with a movie theater in Hong Kong to deliver a powerful message about texting and driving.
AAA – the American Automobile Association – created this report on Distracted Driving Among Newly Licensed Teen Drivers
According to an article published in the New England Journal of Medicine in January 2014, “Distracted driving attributable to the performance of secondary tasks is a major cause of motor vehicle crashes both among teenagers who are novice drivers and among adults who are experienced drivers.”
According to Distraction.gov, the official U.S. government website on distracted driving, “because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.” Learn more at Distraction.gov.