According to the National Safety Council, a new report shows that leading causes of death from a vehicle are:
- Alcohol 30.8%
- Speeding 30% and
- Distracted driving 26%
The new and surprising category that is catching the most attention is the distracted driving statistics–especially in teenage drivers. This category is on-the-rise at an alarming rate. Advancement in technology, i.e., mobile phone use (texting), is the primary cause for this generational phenomenon. According to the recent survey, 80% of the public incorrectly believes that hands-free devices are safer than a handheld phone.
Surprising accident-related fatality statistic
The #1 cause of death in teenagers is from an auto-car accident. Much of the blame can be placed on driving inexperience. Statistics show that graduated driver’s license systems across the country reduce crashes involving teenagers by 40%. But the question remains how to minimize the potential risks of an accident? Clearly one way is to limit passenger distraction and the use of a cell phone and texting-messaging.Teenagers need to understand that accidents happen very quickly and the time-distance factor is not in their favor.
It is critically important for all teenage drivers to understand the dangers of the road and potential hazards that exist. One way to educate our teens to the hazards and risks is to take a defensive driving course. Education is the answer. Finally, getting teenagers in a buckling-up routine upon entering a vehicle is critical. This should begin at a very early age. Seat belts save lives–it is just that plain and simple.
By Charlie Ward