Around this time every year – between Memorial Day and Labor Day – the average number of deadly car crashes climbs 15% compared to the rest of the year. Over the past five years, more than 1,600 people were killed in crashes involving inexperienced or distracted drivers.
“Statistics show that teen crashes spike during the summer months because teens are out of school and on the road” said Dr. David Yang, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Distraction plays a role in nearly six out of 10 teen crashes, four times as many as official estimates based on police reports. The top distractions for teens include talking to other passengers in the vehicle and interacting with a smart phone.
National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) Statistics…
- Every year, about 421,000 people are injured in crashes that have involved a driver who was distracted in some way. Over 330,000 of the accidents caused by texting while driving lead to severe injuries. This means that over 78% of all distracted drivers are distracted because they have been texting while driving.
- 1 out of 4 car accidents in the US are caused by texting while driving.
- If texting and driving you are 6 times more likely to get in an accident than drunk driving (which is still a HUGE no-no!)
What Can You Do To Prevent Distracted Driving?
As a passenger…
- Request that the driver puts down the phone while behind the wheel
- Offer to send a text or make a call for the driver
- Offer to help watch the road
As a driver…
- Turn off your cell phone while you are driving
- Pull off to the side of the road to send a text or make a phone call
- If you think you will be tempted to check your phone, avoid the temptation by putting it in the trunk or the back seat
Even as a Parent…
- Be a good role model and practice what you preach
- Do not call or text your child if you know they might be driving
Keep these stats in mind when you hit the road, and remember to avoid distractions as much as possible. We all share the road with many other people who want to get to where they’re going safely!