Teenagers are at a higher risk of accidents caused by the use of cell phones or texting while driving. That may be because they are less likely to speak up when they are in a car being driven by a distracted driver.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has been focusing especially hard on reducing distracted driving among teenage motorists. Part of the initiative has included education and awareness campaigns. However, the results of a new study find that it’s not awareness that transportation agencies should be worried about, but the lack of practical application of this awareness.
The study found that approximately 90% of teenagers found sending or receiving text messages or e-mails while driving to be completely unsafe. However, that didn’t mean that the teenagers actually objected when riding in a car being driven by a motorist who was sending or receiving text messages or e-mails while driving. Only about one third of the passengers said that they would bother objecting or speaking up in a situation like this.
We believe that the study indicates that we have reached a plateau as far as reducing the practice of distracted driving among teenagers is concerned. Initiatives to increase awareness about the dangers of these practices seem to have worked fairly well, and many teenagers now are aware of the dangers of such practices. However, the challenge is in getting them to act to reduce those risks Most teenagers while aware of the dangers, probably don’t appreciate the seriousness of those dangers, which is why none of them are that concerned when they’re traveling in a car being driven by a distracted driver. The focus now needs to be on getting teenagers to speak up to prevent distracted driving by other teenagers.