Distracted driving killed 3,328 Americans in 2012, according to the federal Department of Transportation. More than one-fifth – 21 percent – of all teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 who were killed in accidents were distracted a the time of the accident.
Many teenagers are in near-constant contact with their friends on phones. But, cellphones and other electronic devices are a leading cause of distraction for drivers today.
Older, more-experienced drivers need to be careful to keep their attention on the road as much as teens. But, young people have less experience driving than most older Americans, and distracted driving can be even more dangerous.
In addition to electronics, drivers of all ages can have their attention taken away by food and drinks, conversations with other people in the car, or even events happening outside their vehicle.
What can you do to keep your teen safe? The best thing a parent can do to keep their child from becoming a victim is to talk to them about the dangers presented by distracted driving. Also, become familiar with local and state laws. Let your teen know what you – and society – expect from them, and what the penalties will be for violating the rules.
Best of all, lead by example. Never allow devices, people or anything else take your attention away from the road when you drive. Your child just may learn to do the same.