Distracted driving is killing teenagers at an alarming rate. The National Traffic Highway Safety Administration (NHTSA) has been on a rampage against distracted driving by teens for more than a year, but studies show that distracted driving by teens continues despite teenagers' knowledge of its dangers. Last month, teenage drivers nationwide pledged to take two seconds to turn off their cell phones and other wireless devices before driving a motor vehicle. These pledges were part of a National Two-Second Turnoff Day sponsored by AAA, Seventeen and the US Department of Transportation. A recent survey by AAA and the popular teen magazine Seventeen showed that nearly 9 our of 10 teen drivers have driven while distracted, even though almost 85% of them know its dangerous.
The key to stopping distracted driving is not telling teen drivers how dangerous it is, that is just preaching to the choir. They all know how dangerous it is, but they do not think anything bad could happen to them. Education on this topic must involve and engage teenagers. The below video is a great place to start this education:
At Davis Law Group, we hear from victims of serious crashes on a regular basis who have been involved in collisions with other drivers who were distracted. What makes these crashes so bad is that they are totally preventable. Another problem with these crashes is that teen drivers usually do not have more than the minimum limits of liability insurance coverage, so for the victim, unless they have significant under-insured coverage, there is little chance of recovering enough compensation to even cover their medical expenses.
Parents must take an active role in their teen drivers driving habits, they must police it, and they must enforce some hard and fast rules for violations that involve distracted driving. I have previously written about many of the various methods of monitoring a teenager's use of a cell phone while driving, and many parents have found that they work well. Protect your teen and protect other drivers on the road.