More than 3,000 U.S. traffic fatalities were linked to distracted drivers in 2011. Common distractions for drivers include texting, talking on a cellphone, chatting with passengers, eating and fiddling with the radio, GPS or other device.
Teens and newly licensed drivers are especially susceptible to distractions. In addition to being more tempted to answer the cellphone or send a text to a friend, new drivers simply lack the judgment and experience that comes from years behind the wheel.
Oklahoma bans the use of hand-held cellphones and texting while driving by those with a learner’s permit or intermediate license. Parents can reinforce smart decisions by sharing some startling facts about just how dangerous distracted driving is. According to distracteddriving.gov, a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration website:
- Approximately 10 percent of injury crashes are the result of distracted driving.
- 11 percent of the drivers younger than 20 who were killed in car crashes were distracted at the time of the accident.
- Taking your eyes off the road to send or receive a text — even for as little as 4.6 seconds — is the equivalent of driving the length of a football field at 55 mph. Blindfolded.
- Dialing or texting on a hand-held cellular device while driving makes it three times more likely that you will have a wreck.
Help protect your young driver by giving him or her the facts. If you or your teen has been the victim of an accident in which the other driver was distracted,talk to an attorney at Stipe Law Firm. Distracted driving is negligent driving, and you may deserve compensation for your injuries.