Do teens understand just how much distracted driving impairs their ability to drive a car? Amidst a federal Department of Transportation summit on distracted driving in Washington Tuesday, new survey results have been released that conclude teenagers don’t understand the results of texting while driving can be just as dire as driving under the influence.
Most teens between the ages of 14 and 17 who participated in the survey agreed that drinking and driving could likely prove fatal, but a mere 36% of the sample group believed texting behind the wheel could likely lead to a deadly car accident. Officials involved with the survey speculate teens today don’t realize what a threat technology is to their focus on the road because they have grown up with the technology as a natural part of their lives. Most teens are too young to remember a time when most people weren’t able to be reached instantly via cell.
With roughly 5,000 deaths nationally attributed to distracted driving each year, Georgia has taken action to curb these fatalities. The details of fines and license suspensions were discussed on our blog in this post last month.
The advent of the smartphone has brought more information than ever directly to the public’s fingertips. Unfortunately, the onus of using this power responsibly is placed upon the people as well. Whether they’re picture messaging an image of their latest tattoo, tweeting about a Bulldogs win, checking into East West Bistro via Foursquare or talking face to face with friends using Facetime on their new iPhone 4, teens are up against a plethora of smartphone-induced distractions behind the wheel they weren’t confronted with just five years ago.
Georgia State Officials hope their efforts to curb distracted driving yield positive results. Only time will tell.
Source: Fox31 Online “Do teens understand the dangers of texting and driving?” 9/22/10