By Maureen Salamon
TUESDAY, Oct. 24, 2017 (HealthDay Information) — A 17-year-old Minnesota teen runs a crimson mild, killing a father and his 10-year-old daughter.
A 16-year-old Missouri woman — her driver’s license solely days previous — dies when she turns onto a street and is slammed by a tractor-trailer.
A 16-year-old Maine teen breaks her neck after crashing her car.
What do all of those latest tragedies have in frequent? The younger drivers had all been suspected of texting whereas behind the wheel. The issue of distracted driving amongst teenagers continues, with public service campaigns aiming a highlight on the difficulty to boost consciousness amongst youngsters and their mother and father.
“Distraction is absolutely one thing that is no shock, since teenagers are related to their cellphones,” mentioned Wealthy Romer. He is state relations supervisor for the American Car Affiliation in Washington, D.C.
“However we have discovered that whereas solely 6 % of teenagers ages 16 to 18 say it is acceptable to textual content or e mail whereas driving … 34 % have despatched one whereas driving within the final month,” Romer added. “This ‘do-as-I-say, not-as-I-do’ tradition permeates all the way in which right down to our youth.”
Motorcar crashes are the main reason for dying amongst youngsters in the US, in accordance with the U.S. Nationwide Freeway Site visitors Security Administration (NHTSA). Distracted driving claimed three,450 lives in 2016 alone, with teen drivers accounting for the best share of all drivers reported as distracted on the time of the deadly crash. One other 400,000 folks had been injured in distracted driving incidents in 2015.
Different startling statistics: In keeping with TeenSafe, a smartphone management and monitoring service for fogeys, texting whereas driving raises an adolescent’s threat for having an auto accident by 400 %. And 40 % of teenagers have mentioned they had been passengers in a automotive whereas the driving force — who could have included their very own father or mother — was utilizing his or her smartphone.
However a 2016 AAA Basis for Site visitors Security examine revealed that the highest distraction for teen drivers is not their cellphone, however the presence of different passengers, who typically are teenage mates. Different passengers accounted for 15 % of youngster driver accidents, in accordance with the analysis, whereas 12 % stemmed from texting or speaking on a smartphone.
“All distractions aren’t digital,” mentioned Russ Martin, director of presidency relations for the Governors Freeway Security Affiliation in Washington, D.C. “Distraction is available in many types.”
Texting is taken into account particularly perilous as a result of it includes utilizing the eyes, palms and mind on the identical time. Drivers who ship and obtain textual content messages take their eyes off the street for about 5 seconds. At 55 miles per hour, that is equal to driving the size of a soccer area with eyes closed, in accordance with the NHTSA.
“Now we have to think about that the quantity of consideration we’re bringing to this problem is getting by means of to some youngsters, [but] the issue is it is arduous to precisely measure,” Martin mentioned. “It’s totally troublesome to get the information. Drivers do not at all times admit they’re distracted, there might not be witnesses, and typically there is not any proof to clue a police officer into it.”
One anti-distraction measure some mother and father make use of consists of pay-for-service apps that assist monitor teen driver actions or shut down cellphone use whereas driving. TeenSafe produced the iPhone TeenSafe Management App, which pauses and schedules app, knowledge and cellphone use to guard teenagers towards distracted driving.
Related smartphone apps embody Canary, which notifies mother and father of unsafe driving practices; DriveSmart, which mutes incoming texts and sends calls on to voicemail; and DriveScribe, which displays teen driving and rewards secure driving habits.
However Romer cautioned mother and father towards relying solely on apps and different technological options to guard their youngsters. “They could be of some help, however actually, one of the best countermeasure we’d advocate are concerned mother and father,” he mentioned.
“Analysis has proven that concerned mother and father who do supervised apply driving, signal a parent-teen settlement [detailing driving rules], and fogeys who set good examples can actually scale back crashes and violations amongst teen drivers,” Romer added.
Romer, Martin, the NHTSA and TeenSafe provided these tricks to mother and father to assist their teen drivers keep away from distractions:
- Speak to your teen in regards to the duty of secure driving, impressing upon her or him that the chances are towards teen drivers surviving a crash when driving whereas distracted.
- Put your individual cellphone down whereas driving, particularly when your teen is within the automotive and watching you.
- Flip off the radio when teen drivers are first studying methods to drive. Loud music may be very distracting whereas studying the fundamentals.
- Set particular penalties if a teen driver would not comply with the principles.