Research data has consistently shown that teenagers continue to text and drive to an alarming degree.
It is also well known that texting while driving is leading to the first annual increase in car accident fatalities in the U.S. and Connecticut in 50 years.
Now add something more…
A new study conducted by a group called Students Against Distracted Driving has just been released. It shows that two thirds of all teens admit to using apps like Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat to look at and post new messages – while driving.
Astonishingly, when teens were asked to rate the various driving behaviors by how dangerous they are, by a wide margin teens in the study stated that posting or commenting on social media apps was less dangerous than texting while driving.
It’s an established fact that teenage brains evaluate risk differently than adult brains. It’s also a fact that teenage drivers are the most at risk demographic group for fatal car accidents.
So what can parents do to help their teens remain safe?
Here are a few tips:
- Talk about the risks of distracted driving with your children. Explain to them that the dangers of texting while driving are approximately the same as driving drunk.
- Give them examples of the risk. Ask them to calculate how many feet a car can travel in 3 seconds going 60 miles an hour on the highway (hint: at 60 MPH – a car is traveling at 88 feet per second). Then ask them to imagine what could possibly happen driving blind the length of a football field.
- Set a great example. How many of you know an adult friend who takes selfies while driving and then immediately posts those photos to Facebook or Instagram? You know a few – right? Is there a chance that behavior is giving young drivers permission to try the same stunt? Of course.
One can never protect children from all harm – but by communicating with them and setting good examples – one can do a great deal to help keep them stay safe.
If you’re ever injured in a car accident of any kind, know that the Connecticut car accident lawyers at RisCassi & Davis have been assisting drivers injured in accidents for over 60 years. And we have received both state and national recognition for our work in this area. If you are ever in a car accident of any kind and would like a free consultation with one of our Connecticut car accident lawyers, please contact us. There is no obligation.