With millions of students across the nation heading back to school this fall, more vehicles back on the road, means more traffic – and more accidents. For drivers this is an opportunity to do your homework on how to help everyone get back to school safely.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC) distractions are the leading cause of motor vehicle crashes with the number one distraction being cell phone use. Twenty three percent of all driving crashes – or 1.3 million crashes each year – can be attributed to cell phone talking and texting while driving.
As you’re heading out the door don’t forget to take a quick study break to brush up on these top distractions to avoid on the road.
And for parents of teen drivers, you can help keep them safe on the road by spending a little extra time after school getting street smart and reviewing safe driving tips. According to a recent Allstate Foundation survey, car crashes by teen drivers is the leading cause of teen deaths in America today, accounting for 12.6 percent of all drivers in fatal crashes.
But the good news is that teens also feel that their parents are the biggest influence on how they drive and by identifying the top causes of car accidents for teens – moms and dads can do a little extra credit to keep everyone street safe.
• 56% of teens said they make and answer phone calls while driving. Talking on a cell phone can double the likelihood of an accident and can slow a young driver’s reaction time to that of a 70-year-old.
• 13% of teens said they send and respond to text messages while driving.
• 55% of teens said they exceed the speed limit by more than 10 mph.
• 44% of teens said they drive more safely without friends in the car.
• Only 45% said they would definitely speak up if someone was driving in a way that scared them.
*Courtesy Allstate Foundation – Teen Driving Facts (http://www.allstate.com/Allstate/content/refresh-attachments/TeenDriving_facts.pdf)
But whether it’s the first day of school or the last – it’s never too late for families and drivers to exercise caution during their daily commutes. Some important tips for motorists of all ages to remember on the road as they are heading off to school include:
- Pay extra attention to your speed, especially in school zones. Look out for keiki (children) who are waiting for a bus – children may run into the street without remembering to look.
- Slow down when a bus activates its flashing yellow lights and come to a complete stop when you see a bus flashing its red warning lights. It is illegal to pass a bus until a bus’s flashing red lights and other signals are turned off.
- Always buckle up and require passengers to do the same.
- Avoid distractions such as loud music and cell phones while driving.
Avoid distractions such as loud music and cell phones while driving.