Some more eye opening stats; 13% of drivers age 18-20 involved in car wrecks admitted to texting or talking on their cell phones at the time of a crash. 34% say they have texted while driving. 52% say they talked on their cell phones while driving and a whopping 82% of Americans are 16-17 own cell phones.
Here is the problem; some don’t think it’s a problem. 77% of young adults are very confident or somewhat confident that they can safely text while driving. 55% of young adults claim it’s easy to text while they drive. Here is another problem; teens who text while driving spend approximately 10% of their driving time OUTSIDE of their lane.
It’s not just teens that text and drive, adults do it too. 48% of young drivers have seen their parents drive while talking on a cell phone. 15% have seen their parent’s text and drive. 27% of adults have sent or received text massages while driving. 1 in 5 drivers of all ages confess to surfing the web while they drive.
How do they justify it? 1) Reading a text is safer then composing and sending one. 2) They hold the phone near the windshield “for better visibility.” 3) They increase the following distance. 4) They text only at a stop sign or red light.
What can be done? It is illegal to text and drive in the state of Georgia, no matter the age of the driver. Drivers under the age of 18 are prohibited from ALL cell phone use while driving.
There is some technology for parents out there. Drivecam monitors a driver’s activity and provides real-time feedback with video. AT&T Drive Mode is a free anti-texting and driving mobile app for Android and BlackBerry. Text-Free-Driving Pledge; teens and parents can take this pledge. Check out www.textinganddrivingsafety.com for more information.
Officer Larry Jacobs is the Crime Prevention Officer for the Sandy Springs Police Department. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.