Facts About Distracted Driving
Knowing the statistics and facts about distracted driving can help families manage this dangerous crash risk. Driving while distracted can make it difficult to react during a potential crash, especially for teen drivers. Peer passengers, talking or texting on a cell phone, changing the radio, eating, or applying makeup are all dangerous distractions. If the brain is thinking about anything other than driving, it can make it difficult to react during a potential crash, especially for inexperienced teen drivers.
Beyond sharing facts and statistics about distracted driving, parents need to model safe driving behaviors by not using a cell phone -- whether hands-free or hand-held -- while driving (including at stoplights) and not applying makeup, fiddling with the radio, or eating when behind the wheel.
Parents should limit peer passengers for their newly licensed teens, a major crash risk. Two or more peer passengers more than triples the risk of a fatal crash with a teen behind the wheel. The aim is engaged driving, where teen drivers are continuously attentive and focused.
Distraction was a key factor in 58 percent of crashes involving drivers ages 16 to 19, according to an analysis of video footage of 1,691 moderate-to-severe crashes 6 seconds before they occurred.
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