4 in 10 Teens Admit Texting While Driving
Over the summer, Time Magazine reported that 4 in 10 teens admit to texting while driving. This alarming news was discovered in the latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that 78 percent of teens and young adults say that they have read a text message while driving. With National Teen Driver Safety Week coming up, parents are encouraged to talk to their kids about five different issues facing teen driver. Among those five issues is distracted driving.
Distracted Driving by the Numbers
• In 2012, 3,328 people were killed in crashes involving distracted drivers.
• 10 percent of all drivers under the age of 20 involved in fatal crashes were reported as distracted at the time of the crash.
• Drivers under the age of 20 make up the largest proportion of distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes (27 percent).
• An estimated 421,000 people were injured in crashes involving distracted drivers in 2012.
When teens, young adults or drivers of any age are distracted behind the wheel, they are essentially driving blind. The average time your eyes are off the road when texting is five seconds, and five seconds is a long time when you’re in a moving vehicle. If you’re going 55 miles per hour, that’s the equivalent of driving the length of an entire football field blindfolded. It’s basically like shutting your eyes and driving blind for extended lengths of time. A lot can happen in five seconds. In fact, a lot can happen in a fraction of a second. It only takes a moment for a child or a pet to dart into the street, or for you to drift into an oncoming lane of traffic.
The Distracted Driving Epidemic
It’s no secret that distracted driving is now considered an epidemic on U.S. roadways. Hopefully, with the increase in public awareness and safety campaigns aimed at showing drivers the personal and economic costs of distracted driving, we will begin to see a decrease in injury-causing and fatal distracted driving accidents. National Teen Driver Safety Week is a great time to speak with teens about texting while driving, and parents are encouraged to make the commitment to distraction-free driving as well.