Distracted Driving: A Deadly Problem that is Easily Avoided
It’s a sad fact that every year, many teen drivers lose their lives due to distracted driving. Many parents worry over whether their child is speeding, wearing a seat belt, or drinking behind the wheel, yet they do not realize just how dangerous a simple distraction can be. In fact, in many cases, distracted driving can be just as deadly as driving drunk or tired. The American Automobile Association states that one out of every ten teenagers they surveyed claimed that friends in the back seat are very distracting while they drive. Other problems listed included cell phone operation while behind the wheel.
Cars That Help Prevent Distracted Driving
Many car manufacturers, such as Mercedes and Toyota, are taking matters into their own hands by producing vehicles with features that help prevent distracted driving. These new technologies are very beneficial and could save the lives of thousands of teens. For example, some vehicles offer lane departure warnings that use speed and distance to judge when the vehicle may be changing lanes. These usually sound an alarm or cause the steering wheel to vibrate, reminding the driver that they are crossing into another lane. In the case of a distracted driver, this could give them another opportunity to refocus on the road and pull away before they possibly drive out of their lane and into oncoming traffic.
Cell phone blockers are another popular choice for many parents. These devices prevent cell phone use while in the car. Incoming calls do not get through and outgoing calls cannot be made. This way, the cell phone will not be able to distract the driver until he or she gets out of the vehicle. Considering how many cell phone related accidents there are each year, a blocker may be able to dramatically improve the statistics.
Good Driving Habits Go a Long Way
As the parent or guardian of a teen driver, one of the best things you can do is to inform them of the dangers of distracted driving. Share a few tips to help stop the problem before it starts. Turning off the cell phone is highly recommended and limiting the number of passengers is also beneficial. Good driving habits can help your teen avoid distractions that often lead to collisions.