Prom and graduation season is exciting, but unfortunately, the months of April, May, and June are also the most dangerous times for high school students. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for teens. One out of three teen crashes is alcohol related and distracted driving results in thousands of deaths.
To help reduce teen deaths and injuries and encourage safe driving, each spring, Elk & Elk sponsors None 4 Under 21 and Choices Beyond. This community-based event encourages high school students to make safe driving choices and demonstrates the serious consequences of drunk and distracted driving.
While drunk driving is a serious problem, distracted driving has emerged as a dangerous epidemic on America’s roadways. That’s why we feel it is important to go beyond the message of drinking and driving and talk about the message of distractions.
Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract them from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing. Distractions include, talking or texting on a cell phone, grooming, eating or drinking, changing radio stations, or talking to passengers.
Distracted Driving: Alarming Teen Statistics
- In 2013, 3,154 people were killed, and an estimated 424,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
- A recent analysis of crash videos revealed distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes, which is four times higher than previous official estimates.
- Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds—the equivalent of driving blind at 55-mph for the length of an entire football field.
- If you text and drive, you’re 23 times more likely to be in a car accident.
We know talking to young adults about drunk and distracted driving can be difficult. To help start the conversation, we encourage you to join Elk & Elk’s effort to promote safe driving by downloading our free Parent-Teen Pledge. It is designed to help families set ground rules for both teen drivers and adults. After you sign it, hang the Pledge by the car keys or near the front door as a reminder to drive responsibly. Don’t just sign the Pledge, take it to heart. It just might save a life.
“AAA: Distracted driving a huge factor in teen driver crashes” by Wyatt Andrews, CBS News, March 25, 2015