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National Trauma Awareness Month: Distracted Driving

Text messaging creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted. Teens are most at risk. Educate yourself and your teens on the importance of staying focused when driving. We want everyone to arrive safely at their destination.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration offers the following tips on preventing distracted driving.

Distracted driving is on the rise...and so are deaths.

  • According to NHTSA, in 2012, 3,328 people were killed, and an estimated 421,000 were injured in motor vehicle crashes involving a distracted driver.
  • Sending or receiving a text takes a driver’s eyes from the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the equivalent-at 55 mph-of driving the length of an entire football field, blind.

What is distracted driving?

  • Distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract them from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing.
  • Distractions include, talking or texting on a cell phone, grooming, eating or drinking, changing radio stations, or talking to passengers.

Teens are at the most risk!

  • Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens in the United States, more than homicide and suicide combined.
  • The younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.
  • As of December 2012, 171.3 billion text messages were sent in the US (includes PR, the Territories, and Guam) every month.
  • Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous of all distracted driving activities, because it takes your hands off the wheel and eyes and mind off the road.
  • Not surprisingly, drivers under the age of 20 text more than any other age group and the numbers are only increasing!

How can parents help?

  • Talk to your teens
  • Set clear“house rules”
  • Remind your teenager that driving is a privilege - a privilege they will lose if they don’t drive by your rules.
  • Have your teen sign a House Rules Contract.
  • Be a good responsible driving behaviors starting when your children are young.
For more information or to download a house rules contract visit