A new survey by Consumer Reports shows that while most teens understand the risk of cell phone use while driving, they still engage in this dangerous practice. This is only one in a recent number of studies and reports that shows that young drivers are more likely to use cell phones while driving, and that parents’ actions can have a big impact on how teens view driving safety.
While eight out of ten young drivers surveyed said they knew the risks of texting while driving, 29% of drivers age 16 to 21 had engaged in the practice within the past month. Using a cell phone to write, send or receive text messages or emails while driving is dangerous. According to the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, over 3,000 people were killed in “distracted-affected crashes” in 2010. This accounts for 9.4% of all traffic fatalities.
Using a cell phone while driving takes attention away from the road, and accidents can happen in a split second. That’s why 37 states, including Georgia, have passed laws banning texting while driving. 10 states have completely banned the use of hand-held phones. In Georgia, young drivers are not allowed to use cell phones at all while driving.
Interestingly, 48% of respondents in the Consumer Reports survey reported that they had seen one or both of their parents using a non-hands free cell phone while driving. This goes to show that young drivers do look to their parents’ example when learning how to drive safely. That’s why it’s so important for parents and other adults to stop texting while driving. Considering that drivers age 18 to 20 are three times more likely to send or read text messages while driving than those over age 25, it is very important that adults show that responsible drivers do not operate vehicles while distracted. Distracted driving is a very real problem, and it is up to all drivers to ensure the safety of everyone else on the road.
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