Technology has changed our lives and the advances in smart phones have allowed us to easily bring technology with us wherever we go and use it whenever we’d like. With the incredible opportunities this presents us, it can also have some very dangerous consequences. One major risk is using your smart phone while operating an automobile.
The Federal Communication Commission (FCC) statistics show that in 2012 18% of all crashes that resulted in injury or death were the result of distracted drivers. That equates to 3,328 deaths and 421,000 people injured. Five seconds is the minimum amount of time your attention is taken away from the road when texting, at 55 miles per hour that equates to traveling the distance of a football field without looking at the road. Texting while driving makes a crash 23 times more likely, however texting isn’t the only problem. Dialing a phone makes a crash 2.8 times more likely, talking or listening on a phone makes a crash 1.3 times more likely and reaching for a devices makes a crash 1.4 times more likely.
Smart phones are a big distraction for teens with 52% having talked on a phone while driving and 34% having texted while driving. However teens are not the only ones at fault with 48% of young drivers having seen their parents drive while talking on a cell phone and 15% having seen their parents texting while driving.
What can you do? New laws are being enacted all the time to combat distracted driving. Please vote for and give your support to these initiatives. But more important is to give your teen clear instructions not to use their wireless device while driving. If you have done that already, do it again. If you haven’t done it, stop what you’re doing and do it now! Talk about it and keep talking about it. Also, lead by example, that’s how children learn. Do not use your wireless device while driving. If you need to, pull over to a safe place. The five minutes you spend could save you and your child’s life, what could be more important than that??