As we enter April, national Distracted Driving Awareness Month, consider some alarming but sadly predictable research from the AAA-Foundation for Traffic Safety: distracting teen drivers leads to crashes. As the study authors concluded, a teen driver involved in studied crashes “was inattentive or engaged in some other non-driving-related activity in 58% of crashes overall (44% of loss-of-control crashes, 89% of road-departure crashes, 76% of rear-end crashes, and 51% of angle crashes).” Distracted by what? Mostly passengers and cell phone use.
How do you help ensure teens don’t drive distracted? One way is to set limits on teens driving together, without adults. The study found that, of passenger-present crashes, “84% of passengers were estimated to be ages 16-19; fewer than 5% were parents or other adults.”
Another way is education. I’ve been presenting on distracted driving at area schools using a program from Joel Feldman’s enddistracteddriving.org. Check out the website for information. You can even download and present the program yourself, a worthy, potentially life-saving project. And feel free to contact me with questions, or to have me present to your students. There’s no cost, this is just a public service. Joel’s presentation is a tested, effective method to change teen behavior; I’m just happy to be one of many messengers helping spread the word.
Check out and share the full 2015 Teen Crash Causation Report, posted below: https://www.aaafoundation.org/sites/default/files/2015TeenCrashCausationReport.pdf