#1 Killer of Teens is Preventable
The California Highway Patrol (CHP) has recently issued a press release regarding the number-one killer of teens, reckless and distracted driving. Although texting while driving has become an epidemic in California and across the country, deaths associated with distracted driving are 100 percent preventable. The CHP is hoping to raise awareness about the very-preventable number one killer of teens during National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and California’s Teen Safe Driving Week (April 1-7, 2015).
Impact Teen Drivers
The CHP is also participating in the Impact Teen Drivers program, which is aimed at increasing education and enforcement efforts associated with teen driving habits. Teens and young adults drivers are some of the most likely drivers to engage in distracted driving on the roadways, even though drivers of all ages engage in distracted driving behaviors behind the wheel. The CHP is emphasizing the importance good decision making for teens drivers and passengers to improve safety.
Distracted Driving in California
• In 2013, 50 people were killed in distracted driving crashes across the state.
• In California, an estimated 4,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted driving in 2013.
• In 2013, 45 percent of Californians surveyed said they made a driving mistake while talking on a cell phone.
• Nearly 70 percent of California drivers surveyed said they had been hit or nearly hit by a driver talking or texting on a cell phone.
• Nearly half of all Californians surveyed said that texting while driving is the most serious distraction for drivers.
Hands-Free Versus Handheld Devices
Although hands-free use of cell phones has been touted as the ‘safer’ alternative to manually manipulating electronic devices, the research just doesn’t back that theory up. When it comes down to it, hands-free devices aren’t necessarily safer than handheld devices. It’s the cognitive distraction that makes texting and talking on phones so dangerous. When you’re behind the wheel, you need to devote your full attention to the task of driving. This is especially important for new and inexperienced drivers who need every bit of attention they can muster to make safe decisions behind the wheel.