A new survey released in March demonstrates how teens are frighteningly unaware of the dangers of distracted driving. According to the Consumer Union survey, more than 60 percent of American teens don’t see texting behind the wheel as a dangerous threat to their safety.
Based on the survey, 63 percent of teens admit to talking on a cell phone while driving and another 30 percent admit to texting while driving. It appears that teens need more information and education about the real hazards of distracted driving.
Each year, more than 5,500 people are killed in car accidents caused by distracted driving according to the U.S. Transportation Department. Clearly, this is a real threat but teens who have grown up with their cell phones easily accessible think that the danger isn’t actually a threat.
Transportation Secretary Roy LaHood said that the results of this survey show that parents need to make an active effort to educate their teen about the dangers of distracted driving in all of its forms. There are several guides available for parents to begin the discussion with their teen about distracted driving. The federal website www.distraction.gov provides parents with several talking points to assist a parent who wants to discuss the issue of distracted driving with a teen but doesn’t know where to start.
Governmental agencies are also launching television ad campaigns in an effort to raise awareness to the issue of distracted driving. The Transportation Department has also launched a campaign called “Faces of Distracted Driving” on their YouTube channel and their website.