Distracted driving kills the same as drunk driving. That’s the message people need to understand. Generations prior it was loud and clear, if you drink and drive, you risk killing yourself or other people on the road.
We must make distracted driving as serious as getting behind the wheel while intoxicated.
New Survey Suggests Over Half Of Teen Drivers May Be Overconfident In Their Driving Skills
Hum by Verizon released new survey findings to raise awareness of teen driver safety, the needs of young drivers, and the benefits that technology can provide on the road. KRC Research conducted the survey of 1,004 American teens (ages 13-17) between Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, 2017.
More than half (57 percent) of teen drivers responded that they are just as good at driving as their parent or guardian, yet nearly three in four (72 percent) have felt unsafe on the road and cited getting into an accident (77 percent) as their No. 1 concern on the road.
Additional findings include:
Opportunity for more driver’s education
· 51 percent of teen drivers wish they had learned more about how to drive safely in ice, snow and wet weather.
· 47 percent of teen drivers wish they had learned more about how to change a tire and 44 percent wish they knew how to jump start a battery.
· 34 percent wish they had learned more about how to handle distractions in the car while driving, either through driver’s education or with their parents.
Teens’ confidence and concerns
· 57 percent of teen drivers would prefer to learn driving skills from someone other than their parent or guardian.
· 77 percent of teens say their main concerns on the road are accidents and 53 percent are concerned with other aggressive drivers, followed by getting a speeding ticket 42 percent and running out of gas 37 percent.
Responsible use of tech
· 82 percent of teen drivers say that technologies like blind spot detectors, back-up cameras and traffic alerts have helped them improve their driving.
Memorial Day marks the start of the 100 deadliest days , when the average number of teens dying from car crashes is 16 percent higher than the rest of the year, according to AAA. That’s because teens are on the road more during the summer months. During this time of year, more parents are also on the road while taking their kids to swim lessons, baseball, softball, summer camp, and more.
AT&T is using the Memorial Day Weekend as an opportunity to remind young drivers, and their parents, to never let their smartphones distract them behind the wheel. And a good first step is to take the pledge at www.itcanwait.com to keep your eyes on the road, not on your phone and encourage your family, friends and neighbors to do the same. AT&T launched the It Can Wait campaign in 2010 to help put an end to texting and driving. Since that time, AT&T research has revealed smartphone distracted driving has grown beyond texting to video chatting, emailing, web surfing, photo snapping, posting to social media, and more.
In addition to taking the IT CAN WAIT pledge, AT&T encourages drivers to use a free app, like AT&T DriveMode, to help curb the temptation to engage in texting while driving. This is especially important for teen drivers, since texting is their primary mode of communication. The DriveMode app silences incoming text messages and sends an auto-reply to the sender letting the person know you’re driving.
The app’s auto-mode feature automatically turns on the app when you reach 15 MPH and turns it off after you stop. And parents will receive a notification if their teen driver turns off the app. The AT&T DriveMode app is available to customers of all wireless carriers for iPhone and Android users.
AT&T has also added a virtual reality experience component to the IT CAN WAIT campaign to show the potentially deadly consequences of glancing at your smartphone while driving. You can download the free AT&T VR app and buy Google Cardboard at www.ItCanWait.com/VR to use with your smartphone to experience the IT CAN WAIT driving simulation.
Lastly, AT&T encourages you to get involved with the IT CAN WAIT movement and educate others in your community and workplace about the dangers of smartphone distracted driving. You could just save a life.
If you had to choose for your teen to drive through an icy winter storm or an 80-degree “not-a-cloud-in-the-sky” day, which would you prefer? If you’re like most, you’ll probably put your trust in the warm summer day as opposed to the blistery winter one.
Now, ask yourself the same question after reading the following statistic:
It would take a rare parent to send their teenager off for a drive during a winter storm without a few words of warning (if you were to even let them behind the wheel at all!) But do you allow yourself the same pause for reflection before your son hops in the car after summer practice to go to the beach with friends? Or when your daughter pulls out of the driveway on a warm July night to catch a movie?
Here’s to making summer 2015 the safest one yet. Some tips to help ensure your teen always comes back to you in one piece:
1. Buckle Up. Did you know? Compared to other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use and the majority of teens involved in fatal crashes are unbelted. Set an example by always buckling up yourself — whether they’re in the car or not!
2. Limit passengers. I know, I know. Carpooling is all the rage and I’m all for protecting the environment, but make sure your teen knows there is a LIMIT to how many friends he or she may have in the car at any one time. Distracted driving is a real and all too serious thing, and the more friends in the car the more likely a distraction.
3. Speaking of distracted driving . . .think of investing in a nifty little product I happened upon recently called the Drop Stop. Drop Stop has made it their mission not only to catch all your small belongings that INEVITABLY fall in the gap between your seats, but to eliminate distracted driving in doing so. Your teen drops their phone, their jewelry, their credit card etc., while they’re driving. It falls between the gap. They look down, and down, and down, and… crash. With Drop Stop, they won’t have to look down, ever. If anything ever falls, they’ll know right where to find it, and it’ll be there safe and sound once they park.
4. Help your teen maintain their vehicle! Do they tires have enough tread? When was the last time they had an oil change? Does every light work and at what percentage are the breaks? Keep your teen safe by seeing to it these maintenance issues are up-to-date all while teaching your teen very adult responsibilities.
Summer inevitably means more teen drivers on the roads, many who have had minimal experience behind the road. Their lack of experience can lead to dubious decision making which can lead to every parent’s worst nightmare: A car collision.
What are some of your best tips for teen drivers, and parents of teen drivers? Share with me in the comments below, and remember: Drive safe this summer!
• Discuss safe driving with your teen before they get a license.
• Be a role model. Don’t text and drive, even with your years of experience.