In 2012, an estimated 421,000 Americans were killed by the acts of a distracted driver. According to the NHTSA, 27% of all distracted drivers are people in their 20's, and 10% of all drivers under the age of 20 who were involved in a fatal crash were distracted at the time of the crash. When a person texts while driving, they are taking their eyes off the road for approximately five seconds. "When traveling at 55 mph, that's enough time to cover the length of a football field blindfolded." These statistics are published at Distraction.gov, the official US Government website for Distracted Driving. It is very clear that young people are at the greatest risk of fatal crashes while driving in a distracted manner.
The US government has taken an active role in spreading the word about the dangers of distracted driving and in providing tools for parents and educators to teach their children and students about the dangers. The website is full of posters, brochures, and even some very powerful videos, like this public service announcement taken from the television show, "Glee."
Parents--if you are having problems with your child driving while distracted, sit down with him or her and watch some of the disturbing, yet powerful videos provided by the federal government as part of the Glee Campaign. They are not easy videos to watch, but they may be frightening enough to hit home the message that texting, talking on the cell, or driving drunk are deadly activities. Then, encourage your child to take the pledge to drive phone-free at Distraction.gov. Spread the word---it will save lives!