Distracted Driving is now the Leading Cause of Death in Teens
A new national program is aiming to make an impact on teen distracted driving. The lack of real world experience combined with an increased likelihood to be distracted is proving to be a recipe for disaster.
Unfortunately, our teens have more distractions than ever before. The younger generation as a whole tend to lack a true understanding of how dangerous their behavior is, and the potential finality a serious accident may cause. We must do more to protect our teens and to protect other drivers on the road! So many young lives are ending before they have truly ever had a chance to begin.
Tragically, in Northeast Ohio over the last 4 years 5,866 deaths and injuries to teenagers aged 15-19 years occurred. These accidents were all attributed to distracted driving! The Ohio Highway Patrol reports Cuyahoga County had the highest number of accidents with over 400, followed by 100 in Lake County, 65 in Geauga County and 140 in Lorain County.
The Harsh Reality
Studies conducted by The Impact Program report that teen drivers are 4 times more likely to be involved in a fatal crash than adults. Typical harmless behavior is the culprit, and teens are still failing to realize the severity of the problem. When asked at the Impact Program, teens didn’t even consider accidents on the list of fatal/lethal considerations – Despite it being the top cause of death for their age group.
We all have harrowing stories of things we did, got away with and survived. That feeling of invincibility is undeniable at that age, but it simply isn’t reality. Today, the everyday simple behaviors that are leading to such an increase in accidents are the reason this problem has become so prevalent. An Evel Knievel stunt 20 years ago may have been dangerous, but in reality, these kids are playing the proverbial Russian Roulette with their lies on a daily basis.
Talk About The Everyday Behaviors
Talk to your teen! The seemingly mundane behaviors that are dangerous are easy to overlook. Over 75% of teen accidents can be attributed to the following;
- Passenger Distractions
- Social Media
- Smart Phone Use
- Music / Playlists
- Food and Drinks
- Make up
It is reported that 4,000 teens are killed in car accidents annually across the US with another 400,000 injured. Of these scary statistics, 50% of those are passengers. It is just as important to talk to your teen driver as it is to restrict your teen from being a passenger!
Impact for Change Now and for the Future
The Impact Program originated in California and is now used nationwide, including right here in Northeast Ohio! The program resulted as a joint effort after the increase in teen related accidents, and the profound impact it had on the officers, families and communities as a whole. We have experienced such tragedies right here in Northeast Ohio and families have suffered this unthinkable and preventable tragedies.
The Impact Program is aiming to teach teen drivers now, but also have a great impact on all future drivers. This could greatly impact the accidents rates, as well as future issues with road rage, distracted driving and more. National insurance brands, health care companies and other major players are also stepping up to the plate, offering safe driving scholarships and additional resources.
Keep your kids safe on the roads, educate your teen drivers and keep your teens out of the passenger seat. If you or someone you love is involved in an accident, contact my offices.
I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.