Back to school commutes mean more young drivers on the road – whether it’s a short drive each morning and afternoon, or a long trip to a college campus. Today’s drivers, face a new safety threat/temptation in the form of cell phone use while driving. Young adults and teens have proven to be especially vulnerable to this potentially fatal behavior. If you have a young driver in your family, now is a great time to remind them of what’s at risk with texting and driving.
Texting and Driving is Everyone’s Problem
Many poor choices and destructive habits only affect the person who engages in them. Texting and driving is not one of those kind of behaviors. Literally everyone around the texting driver is in danger, from passengers in that car, to nearby vehicles and pedestrians.
While drivers of all ages can be guilty of texting and driving, young and inexperienced drivers may be particularly susceptible. The invincible, risk-taking attitude teens and young adults often have, combined with a lack of driving experience tends to result in a refusal to acknowledge the danger.
According to the advocacy website, Texting and Driving Safety, the minimum amount of time a driver is distracted by a text is five seconds. In that amount of time, at highway speeds, you will travel the length of a football field. Just a few seconds can result in a huge amount of risk.
An infographic on the website provides some stunning statistics regarding texting and teen driving:
- 77% of young adults are very or somewhat confident that they can safely text while driving
- 55% of young adult drivers claim it is easy to text while they drive
Whether they admit it or not, there is a problem:
- Teens who text while driving spend approximately 10% of driving time outside of their lane.
- 13% of drivers 18-20 involved in car wrecks admitted to cell phone use at the time of the crash.
There is a wealth of great information to share with young drivers on the Texting and Driving Safety website. There are also a lot of powerful videos on the subject, I’ve included a sample below.
Be sure to talk to the young drivers in your life and also to set a good example for them. No amount of age or experience makes texting and driving safe.