According to the results of a new poll by Consumer Reports, a whopping 63 percent of respondents under the age of 30 admitted to using a handheld phone while driving and 30 percent admitted to texting while driving in the past 30 days.
Even more disturbing, of those who responded, only 30 percent felt it was very dangerous to use a handheld phone while driving, although fifty-eight percent of respondents reported seeing a dangerous situation on the road due to a distracted driver in the past month.
This information coupled with the US Department of Transportation (DOT) data that close to 5,500 people were killed and almost half a million were injured in the US because of distracted driving in 2009 spurred the DOT and Consumer Reports to team up to educate parents, teachers, and teens about the dangers of distracted driving. This week, they released a new free guide called “Distracted Driving Shatters Lives.”
The pamphlet offers some good advice for parents in dealing with the issue of distracted driving like:
- Setting a good example – Practice safe driving yourself, and don’t engage in texting or talking on the phone while you’re driving.
- Talking to your teen – Discuss the risks and responsibility involved in driving.
- Establishing ground rules – Create and enforce a family rule about no talking or texting while driving.
- Signing a pledge – Create a family contract about safe behaviors while driving, i.e. wearing seatbelts, not drinking and driving, not texting or using a cellphone while driving, etc.
- Educating yourself – Do some research to find out about the growing problem of distracted driving. Check out the statistics and share them with your teens.
- Spreading the word – Educate people in your own community, online and on social-media sites. Discuss the topic with friends and family.
We all need to do our part to combat the growing problem of distracted driving. The first step? Put down the phone while you’re driving!
For more information on distracted driving and to download a copy of the pamphlet, visit the DOT’s web site, http://www.Distraction.gov and/or Consumer Reports’ site at http://www.consumerreports.org/distracted.
Ty Wilson is a personal injury attorney in Georgia and is dedicated to helping injured people and their families. Call his office today at 888-689-5224 to order his free book, 10 Secrets of Georgia Car Wreck Claims. This book is intended to give you and/or your loved one a solid foundation regarding Georgia auto accident claims, how to hire an attorney, and how to deal with the insurance company prior to speaking with an attorney.