Younger Drivers Need To Wise Up When It Comes To Cell Phone Use

cell-phoneA recent poll conducted by Consumer Reports shows that 63% of drivers under the age of 30 admitted using a cell phone while driving. Perhaps even more frightening, 30% of these younger drivers admitted to texting while driving. 70% of those polled felt that it was not dangerous to drive while using a cell phone. Car crashes are the leading cause of teenage deaths.

As an Alameda father of four kids, and a personal injury lawyer who frequently sees the consequences of negligent driving, this poll scares me. We must take steps to educate our younger drivers of these dangers.

Clearly, drivers are distracted by using a cell phone or texting while driving. Studies show that texting while driving has proven to be more dangerous than driving under the influence of alcohol. The National Safety Council found that 28% of all auto accidents involved mobile phones and or texting.

What can we do to prevent serious personal injuries resulting from this dangerous habit? First, we can lead by example. The same poll showed that 41% of drivers over the age of 30 admitted using a cell phone while driving and 9% admitted to texting. So if we want our kids to drive safe, we should avoid using the cell phone while driving. Second, we can educate them about the dangers. If they don’t believe us, they will believe what they see on youtube.com. Have them view this moving video about teenagers who have lost friends and caused serious injuries and deaths in auto accidents. For further information the U.S. Department of Transportation has a website on distracted driving. If all parents had this conversation with their teenagers, I know it would make the road safer for all of us.

Resource:

San Francisco Chronicle, 63 percent under 30 admit driving while on phone, March 7, 2011

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