Avoid Distracted Driving during Back to School

Drinking coffee, talking on the phone and driving all at the same time

distracted drivingCar accidents are a leading cause of death for people ages 15 to 20, and now that school is back in session, it is important to drive home the dangers of distracted driving to your teen drivers. According to Pew Research Center, 73 percent of teens in 2015 had access to a smartphone. Another 15 percent had access to a basic mobile phone. And in a July 2016 survey conducted by State Farm, the majority of teens surveyed admitted to knowing that driving while distracted by a phone was dangerous. However, many of those teens admitted that they have driven distracted before.

Why Are Smartphones Dangerous on the Road?

There are three primary types of distraction on the road:

  1. Visual – distractions that take the eyes off the road
  2. Manual – distractions that take the hands off the wheel
  3. Cognitive – distractions that take the mind away from the task of driving

Using a smartphone, especially to text, is especially dangerous because all three forms of distraction take place.

The NHTSA and FMCSA say that the average amount of time the eyes are taken off the road to text is five seconds. In those five seconds, a car can move the length of a football field. The risk of crashing increases 23 times when a driver is texting behind the wheel.

Set ground rules with your teens to prevent distracted driving.