If you have, or have been around, a teenager in the last few years, I'm sure you are aware of their obsession with texting. Texting is the new talking, and teens (who naturally love talking) love to do it. They text at home, at school, at work, at play and everywhere else in between...including in their car! Teens send and receive an average of 300 texts per day and unfortunately many of them are being sent while they are driving.
Here are some troubling statistics when it comes to teens and driving:
- Automobile accidents are the number one killer of teens.
- 80% of all accidents are caused by distracted driving.
- Texting is the number one form of distraction.
- Teens have the highest rate of texting and driving among all drivers.
One big reason actually relates to their superior texting skills. Teens are so good at texting while engaged in other activities that they believe they have the necessary skills to continue texting when they get behind the wheel. Unfortunately, teens have a false sense of confidence in their texting and driving abilities. Another contributing factor is their lack of experience in driving. A teen driver may posses all the necessary skills to be a very safe driver, but the lack of time on the road causes them to text in more high risk driving situations. An adult driver may choose to put the phone away during high traffic situations even if they choose to foolishly text and drive at other times. A teen may not make that same choice, causing them to have a higher chance of causing an accident.
While there are many other factors that contribute to a teen's higher texting and driving crash rate, it's important to know that there are simple steps you can take to make sure your teen does not fall victim to a texting accident. As the father of a teen driver (who could probably qualify for the texting olympics, and maybe even com;e home with a medal) I launched a mission to stop 1,000,000 drivers from texting and driving and save teen lives. It's called the "Million Pledge Mission" and has allowed me to work with schools, sheriff's departments and organizations all across the country to educate teens on the dangers of texting and driving. I recently wrote an article titled "Top 4 Ways To Stop Your Teen From Texting And Driving" that is a must read if you have a teen driver at home.
If you don't have a teen driver in your life but you are guilty of texting and driving, NOW is the time to put an end to a very dangerous habit that killed enough people last year to fill 9 jumbo jets and injured hundreds of thousands more. Do yourself (and everyone else on the roads) a favor and sign the pledge to be a text free driver. Go to http://www.millionpledgemission.com/ and make the commitment today.
If you're my client, stop into the office the next time you're in the neighborhood for a copy of the text free driving pledge and a free texting thumb band for all of the drivers in your family. It's a great way to help keep your kids, and yourself, safer on the roads.