April is Distracted Driver Month – Teen Drivers most at Risk

I hope you are not reading this as you are driving to or from work, but April is DistractedCell Phone Driver Month and our 3rd ever blog dealt with this serious issue!  With Easter arriving this weekend and Spring Break starting over the next several weeks, we will be driving more as we go on vacations or as our teenage drivers do things during the day they normally wouldn’t if school was in…plus, summer is right around the corner.

You can see some sobering statistics and on the record comments from the two main sources we used for this blog, an article from The Norwich Guidon and a blog post from Virtual-Strategy Magazine, and they will probably make every parent cringe!

Here are some of the stats that caught our attention:

In 2012, there have been an estimated 307,753 car accidents involving drivers using cell phones and texting (National Safety Council – Cell Phone Crash Estimate Model).

Drivers who use hand-held devices while driving are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves or others. (NHTSA).

In 2009, distracted driving claimed 5,474 lives and led to 448,000 injuries (NHTSA).

According to the NHTSA, the group with the “greatest proportion of distracted drivers” was those under the age of 20.

That last stat is probably not so surprising as any parent knows our kids have been “glued” to their gadgets from the age of 6!  These quotes from teens in the NJ article makes you wonder not “if” you will be hit by a distracted driver, but “when”:

“I know it’s dangerous that I drive and text,” said Anthony, a sophomore who requested anonymity. “Even if it’s illegal, I’ll still do it.”

“My friend drove me home from work, and wrote a check while driving,” said John Quinlan, a senior communications major from Manasquan, N.J. “She warned me that she was going to drive with her knees, and I almost had a heart attack.”

Eating and drinking while driving is risky too. Jack, a sophomore who requested anonymity, is guilty of eating lunch while driving. His description included holding a burger in one hand and the drink in the other. His knees were used to hold the steering wheel.

This video is tough, but one I suggest you share with all drivers especially your teens who don’t think it can happen to them:

Life is precious, so enjoy the Easter holiday and any vacation plans you may have.  Remember the lessons learned here and arrive alive.  We like our clients and we hope those of you checking us out can contact us soon instead of dealing with a tragedy.

You can also share your thoughts and questions with Mike and the Keating Agency on Facebook and Twitter.

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