Distracted Driving

Distracted driving is any activity that could divert a person's attention away from the primary task of driving. All distractions endanger driver, passenger, and bystander safety.

  • Using a cell phone or smartphone
  • Eating and drinking
  • Talking to passengers
  • Grooming
  • Reading, including maps
  • Using a navigation system
  • Watching a video
  • Adjusting a radio, CD player, or MP3 player

But, because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver, it is by far the most alarming distraction.

The best way to end distracted driving is to educate all Americans about the danger it poses. Wood County Safe Communities is dedicated to inform all citizens of the dangers of distracted driving.

As parents, you're the number one influence on what kind of driver your teens become. Help them develop a lifetime of good driving habits by following these simple steps:

 Have the Talk 

Driving is a serious responsibility. Discuss what it means to be a safe driver with your teen and set ground rules for when they're behind the wheel. If your teen is on the road, they should stay off the phone.

 Make a Family Pledge 

Print out the pledge form and have every member of your family commit to distraction-free driving. Set a positive example for your kids by putting your cell phone in the glove compartment every time you drive.

 Know Your State Laws 

Many states have Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) laws that include cell phone and texting bans for young drivers. Remind your teen driver that there could be serious consequences for violating these laws.



Donovan Tessmer

Hard hitting true story about the deadly consequences of reckless and distracted driving. Donovan was a star football player, standout student, and great friend who loved to spend time with his family. His life was cut short because of the deadly consequences of reckless and distracted driving and not speaking up when in dangerous situations.


Six Steps You Can Take

 1  Set a Good Example

Kids learn from their parents. Put down your phone while driving and only use it when you've safely pulled off the road. According to Pew Research Center, 40% of teens 12 to 17 say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger. 


 2  Talk With Your Teen

Discuss the risks and responsibilities of driving, and the danger of dividing their attention between a cell phone and the road. Show them the statistics related to distracted driving. And urge them to talk to others; friends take care of friends.


 3  Establish Ground Rules

Set up family rules about not texting or talking on a handheld cell phone while behind the wheel. Enforce the limits set by your state’s graduated licensing program, if one exists, or create your own family policies.

 4  Sign A Pledge

Have your teen take action by agreeing to a family contract about wearing safety belts and not speeding, driving after drinking, or using a cell phone behind the wheel. Agree on penalties for violating the pledge, including paying for tickets or loss of driving privileges.


 5  Educate Yourself

Find out more about this tragic problem. View
the information and resources available at Distraction.gov and National Safety Council. The more you know, the more you will understand the seriousness of the issue.


 6  Spread The Word

Get involved in educating and promoting safe driving in your community and through online social-media websites. Talk to friends, family, and coworkers. And support advocacy organizations such as the National Organizations for Youth
Safety
 and Impact Teen Drivers.


Hunter Clegg

In this video aimed at parents, Hunter Clegg's family and friends share the story of his wonderful life...and tragic choices by another parent and the teens in the car that resulted in his death. He was 14 years old and riding as a passenger on the way home from a camping trip when heartbreak struck.


OTHER TIPS:

Tip #1:  Put your electronic device away before you put the car in gear. 
Turn the phone off and place it in the trunk or glove compartment. Most of us adults remember a day without cell phones and the need for an immediate response.  Let’s encourage our teens to respond responsibly.  If they do have a passenger in the car, they may want to make them a “designated texter” or “designated caller.”

Tip #2: Limit the number of passengers in the vehicle with a teen driver.  
Make sure that each passenger understands the need to avoid loud conversations and help the driver keep her or his eyes on the road.

Tip #3:  Remind drivers and passengers that horseplay needs to take place outside of the car.
Horseplay just doesn’t belong inside a moving vehicle.

Tip #4:  Passengers should help rid the driver of any distractions
By simply removing the distractions for the driver, the passenger can help reduce the opportunities for distracted driving.  Turn a potential distracting passenger into a solution by designating the passenger the role of watching the GPS and providing the turn-by-turn.  

Helpful Phone Apps

Consider installing an app that automatically replies to texts and calls.  Some apps to consider include:

Did you know that traffic crashes are the leading cause of death for American teens? And when it comes to distracted driving, young people are among the most likely to text and talk behind the wheel.

Take The Pledge

The fight to end distracted driving starts with you.

Don't become a statistic. Learn more at Distraction.gov. Here's how you can keep yourself and others safe when you're out on the road:

 1   Take the Pledge!  Commit to being a safe, distraction-free driver. Sign a pledge and keep it in your car or locker as a reminder to stay off the phone when you're driving. 

 2   Share a "Faces of Distracted Driving" video on Facebook or Twitter to let your friends know about the consequences of cell phone use behind the wheel. Change your social networking profile picture to remind your friends that "One Text or Call Could Wreck It All." Click HERE to find these videos!

 3   Speak Up!!!  Don't stop at being a great driver - be a great passenger! Make sure to call out your friends, and even your parents, if you see them using a cell phone behind the wheel.

 4   Get involved in promoting safe driving in your community. Hang up posters, host an event on distracted driving, or start a SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) chapter at your school.

LEARN MORE:

 

The most commons forms of distraction leading up to a crash by a teen driver

Interacting with one or more passengers15%
Cell Phone Use12%
Look at something in the vehicele10%
Look at something outside the vehicle9%
Singing/Dancing to music8%
Grooming6%
Reaching for an object6%

Source: AAA