By Maureen Salamon
TUESDAY, Oct. 24, 2017 (HealthDay News) — A 17-year-old Minnesota teen runs a red light, killing a father in addition to his 10-year-old daughter.
A 16-year-old Missouri girl — her driver’s license only days old — dies when she turns onto a road in addition to is usually slammed by a tractor-trailer.
A 16-year-old Maine teen breaks her neck after crashing her vehicle.
What do all of these recent tragedies have in common? The young drivers had all been suspected of texting while behind the wheel. The problem of distracted driving among teens continues, with public service campaigns aiming a spotlight on the issue to raise awareness among teenagers in addition to their parents.
“Distraction is usually definitely something which’s no surprise, since teens are connected to their cellphones,” said Rich Romer. He’s state relations manager for the American Automobile Association in Washington, D.C.
“yet we’ve found which while only 6 percent of teens ages 16 to 18 say This particular’s acceptable to text or email while driving … 34 percent have sent one while driving inside the last month,” Romer added. “This particular ‘do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do’ culture permeates all the way down to our youth.”
Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers inside the United States, according to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Distracted driving claimed 3,450 lives in 2016 alone, with teen drivers accounting for the highest percentage of all drivers reported as distracted at the time of the fatal crash. Another 400,000 people were injured in distracted driving incidents in 2015.
some other startling statistics: According to TeenSafe, a smartphone control in addition to monitoring service for parents, texting while driving raises a teenager’s risk for having an auto accident by 400 percent. in addition to 40 percent of teens have said they were passengers in a car while the driver — who may have included their own parent — was using his or her smartphone.
yet a 2016 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety study revealed which the top distraction for teen drivers isn’t their cellphone, yet the presence of some other passengers, who often are teenage friends. some other passengers accounted for 15 percent of teen driver accidents, according to the research, while 12 percent stemmed through texting or talking on a smartphone.
“All distractions aren’t electronic,” said Russ Martin, director of government relations for the Governors Highway Safety Association in Washington, D.C. “Distraction comes in many forms.”
Texting is usually considered especially perilous because This particular involves using the eyes, hands in addition to brain at the same time. Drivers who send in addition to receive text messages take their eyes off the road for about several seconds. At 55 miles per hour, which’s equivalent to driving the length of a football field with eyes closed, according to the NHTSA.
“We have to imagine which the amount of attention we’re bringing to This particular issue is usually getting through to some teenagers, [yet] the problem is usually This particular’s hard to accurately measure,” Martin said. “This particular’s very difficult to get the data. Drivers don’t always admit they’re distracted, there may not be witnesses, in addition to sometimes there’s no evidence to clue a police officer into This particular.”
One anti-distraction measure some parents employ includes pay-for-service apps which help monitor teen driver activities or shut down cellphone use while driving. TeenSafe produced the iPhone TeenSafe Control App, which pauses in addition to schedules app, data in addition to phone use to protect teens against distracted driving.
Similar smartphone apps include Canary, which notifies parents of unsafe driving practices; DriveSmart, which mutes incoming texts in addition to sends calls directly to voicemail; in addition to DriveScribe, which monitors teen driving in addition to rewards safe driving habits.
yet Romer cautioned parents against relying solely on apps in addition to some other technological solutions to protect their children. “They may be of some assistance, yet definitely, the best countermeasure we might recommend are involved parents,” he said.
“Research has shown which involved parents who do supervised practice driving, sign a parent-teen agreement [detailing driving rules], in addition to parents who set not bad examples can definitely reduce crashes in addition to violations among teen drivers,” Romer added.
Romer, Martin, the NHTSA in addition to TeenSafe offered these tips to parents to help their teen drivers avoid distractions:
- Talk to your teen about the responsibility of safe driving, impressing upon him or her which the odds are against teen drivers surviving a crash when driving while distracted.
- Put your own phone down while driving, especially when your teen is usually inside the automobile in addition to watching you.
- Turn off the radio when teen drivers are first learning how to drive. Loud music can be very distracting while learning the basics.
- Set specific consequences if a teen driver doesn’t follow the rules.
Copyright © 2017 HealthDay. All rights reserved.
SOURCES: Rich Romer, state relations manager, American Automobile Association, Washington, D.C.; Russ Martin, director, government relations, Governors Highway Safety Association, Washington, D.C.
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