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April is National Distracted Driving Month

April is National Distracted Driving Month

The National Safety Council presents National Distracted Driving Month in April. The council states that distracted driving is “rampant on our roadways, killing hundreds each year.” And the easier that auto makers make it for drivers to make phone calls, dictate texts or emails and update social media while driving, the greater the risk for car crashes.

Important Statistics about Teen Drivers:

Impact Teen Drivers presents the following startling statistics regarding teen drivers:

  • Teen driver crashes are the leading cause of death for our nation’s youth. The overwhelming majority of these crashes are caused by inexperience or distractions, not "thrill-seeking" or deliberate risk-taking.

  • In the National Young Driver Survey, 20 percent of 11th grade drivers reported at least one crash over the past year, including 5 percent who experienced two or more crashes. (Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, 2007)

  • In 2009, 3,242 teens ages 15-19 lost their lives in crashes. (Centers for Disease Control, 2009)

  • Crashes are more common among young drivers than any other age group. In the United States, 1 in 4 crash fatalities involve someone 16 to 24 years old, nearly twice as high as other age groups. (Children's Hospital of Philadelphia)

  • The fatality rate for drivers ages 16 to 19, based on miles driven, is three times higher than for drivers ages 20 to 69. (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2010).

  • The crash fatality rate (crash fatalities/100,000 population) is highest for 16- to 17-year-olds within the first six months after licensure — and remains high through age 24. (Archives of Accident Analysis and Prevention, 2003).

  • 60% of teenage passenger deaths in 2009 occurred in vehicles driven by other teens. (Insurance Institute of Highway Safety, 2009)

Understanding that Hands-free is not Risk-free:

It is important to understand that hands-free (the use of an earpiece, dashboard system or speakerphone) is not risk free. According to the National Safety Council:

Think using a hands-free device while driving makes you safer? Think again. In order to stay safe, you need your eyes on the road, your hands on the wheel, and your mind on driving.

 

Take the Pledge:

Now that you know the facts, take the pledge to be an attentive driver and dedicate your pledge to someone you know who has been affected by distracted driving or to someone you care about – a person who will be your motivation not to engage in distracted driving.