Learning to drive is one of life’s great milestones for teens and now that cell phones and other electronic technologies have also enhanced our lives, some things are just not supposed to mix. Ice cream and apple pie? Great mix. Texting and driving – Not a good mix.
Teen drivers are four times likelier to crash than older drivers. Overall, younger drivers lack experience on the roads and are less likely than older drivers to recognize risky situations. While lack of experience increases teens crash risk, so does driving with teen passengers while unsupervised. As the number of teen passengers goes up, so does the risk of a crash.
Although more teen drivers are buckling up and not driving drunk than in years past, another danger — Texting — is posing a new threat, and one which is growing worse and worse. As adults, we know or should know, the dangers of texting and driving, but how do these habits affect teens.
Studies of high school students show that 1 in 3 students said they had texted or emailed while driving and consider it to be “normal” in their day-to-day lives. Why is this happening? Do they not understand the dangers to themselves and worse yet, to others? Apparently not…
Texting or emailing while driving can have deadly consequences that are entirely preventable, however there are huge changes in behaviors which are related to motor vehicle crashes, and all are very alarming.
Distracted driving can cause a single vehicle accident, or it can involve multiple vehicles and none of these statistics are good. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death among our youth. Drivers cannot do two things at once, and when driving, the priority is driving safely and being aware. Everyone has a personal responsibility to pay attention while behind the wheel – no excuses, ever!
Parents and adults need to have serious conversations with teens and young adults and insure that all who take to the wheel and drive cannot do two things at once. Anyone who has the privilege of driving and earning their driver’s license, has a personal responsibility to pay attention while behind the wheel – that is the bottom line.
Continue to talk often with your teen about his or her driving habits. Believe it or not, your teen is listening to you, so do your part to end these bad and deadly habits! And, if you are an adult and text while driving – STOP IT NOW…