Alcohol, improper seat belt use, inexperience and risky decisions are all factors in car accidents involving young people. In July, the Centers for Disease Control released a report saying that Nashville has one of the nation’s highest rates of car accident fatalities involving people aged 15-24.
Perhaps the biggest obstacle facing teenage drivers is keeping their eyes on the road. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) says that younger drivers are three times likelier to text, email or Facebook behind the wheel than other drivers. When drivers use phones on the highway, they are driving blind for a few football fields’ worth of road for each text.
A recent report from NPR says that teenagers’ excessive use of smart phones can have developmental consequences in addition to dangerous driving risks. Teenagers and people in their early 20s are still developing the parts of their brain that control focus and regulation; giving in to distractions like iPhones can slow brain maturity.
NHTSA says that Americans send or receive 196 billion text messages in just one month. This does not include emails, tweets or Facebook messages.
As parents, it is your job to keep your child safe and do your best to prevent them from causing injury to others. Consider a no driving with cell phones rule; if you see a Facebook post or text that took place while your son or daughter was behind the wheel, talk to them about how dangerous it is. Confiscate the phone if necessary.
If you know someone who was injured or killed in a distracted driving accident, call us at (615) 866-3938.
“That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:17