While 98 percent of drivers say they know texting while driving isn't safe, over half of them still report doing it. The same goes for using the phone and engaging in other distractions while driving. Why do we keep doing something we know isn't safe?
It's a scary statistic: Teen drivers are three times more likely to get into an accident than adults (per mile driven). As the parent of a teen driver, your biggest nightmare is learning that he or she has been in an accident. Understanding some of the biggest risk factors that contribute to these crashes can help you talk to your children about auto safety - and, hopefully, avoid ever hearing such tragic news.
Nobody thinks of themself as a bad driver. We all assume it's the others on the road who drive carelessly and cause accidents.
It is a validated fear: Teens make dangerous and irresponsible decisions. Sure, it is worrying if a teen chooses to try smoking. It is worrying if a teen decides not to do his homework because his video games were just too tempting the night before.
Teens and driving bring to mind a time in most adults lives when they felt like they were invincible, that they were finally growing up. Getting one's license to drive as a teenager really is a step toward adulthood. A license is more than just the ability to drive. It's a safety threat that Pennsylvania lawmakers have attempted to mitigate.
Whereas distracted driving legislation is supposed to prevent distracted driving, a year after Pennsylvania's texting while driving law has been passed, research shows that a different kind of prevention is the problem. When a law is difficult for officers to enforce, they will avoid citing suspects for violations. Therefore, the wording of the law prevents potentially careless drivers from being cited for texting specifically.
If you're a motorist, it is always important to remember to share the road with cyclists, skateboarders and pedestrians. As the days get shorter in the upcoming Pennsylvania winter months, it will be getting darker much earlier. Therefore, it is crucial that drivers keep a watchful eye out for others using the road, especially during the dawn and dusk hours.
In previous blog posts we've discussed the dangers of distracted driving, particularly among younger drivers. A recent national survey confirmed that one bad habit, sending or reading text messages behind the wheel, is particularly common among older high school students, despite the high risk of car accidents.
April has been designated National Distracted Driving Awareness Month by the state and national departments of transportation. In an effort to encourage Pennsylvania motorists to ditch their cellphones and anything else that could take their eyes off the wheel, PennDOT has launched a new campaign called "Just Drive PA."
On Thursday, a new state law banning texting while driving takes effect. Its supporters hope it will cut down on the number of traffic accidents attributed to distracted driving. Drivers caught texting, emailing or Web surfing will face a fine, but talking on a handheld cellphone will still be legal, which could make enforcement of the law tougher for police.