Imagine this... You're in your car driving to an appointment. You're late and your phone begins to vibrate—you've got a text. It may be the person you're meeting with and you really want to check it. Your phone is within arm's reach. You glance and see the screen lighting up. You're curious. The only car on the road is a few car distances in front of you. It'll only take a second to check and respond, only a second. Do you check the message? Do you respond back? Hopefully, you said "no." Perhaps you'd pull over and read the text or wait until you reached your destination. It's easier to know how to respond when you're an adult, but what if you were a teen? Would you do the same thing?
Statistics answer those and many other questions for us. Unfortunately, while surveys report that 97% of teens admit that texting while driving is dangerous, they still do it. A whopping 43% of teens admit to texting while driving. Research reports that teens admit that texting is their number one driving distraction. What's most troubling is that 77% of teens have admitted to watching their parents text and drive. According to these surveys, parents aren't setting a good example. Texting and driving is a dangerous trend and it's leading to life-altering injuries and death.
The number one killer of teens is motor accidents and the cell phone isn't helping. This year there have been an estimated 912,740 crashes involving drivers using cell phones and texting. Annually, 21% of fatal car accidents involving teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 were the direct result of cell phone usage. This statistic is predicted to increase as much as 4% every year. You may be thinking, "not my teen." But what about the friend who's driving her? Well, about 48% of Americans ages 12 to 17 report that they have been in a car when the driver was texting. Now that's not a comforting thought for a parent.
Did you know that texting while driving is to blame for...
Did you know that texting while driving...
So what can you do to ensure your teens safety?
I hope that we all agree that too many lives have been lost due to the negligence of texting and driving. Nothing is more important than the gift of life. No text is worth endangering yourself or another human being. So no matter how often your phone vibrates when you're operating a vehicle...it can wait.
"Teen Crashes - everyone is at risk." AAA. 2009.
"Traffic Safety Facts: 2009 Data." National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 2010.