Many accidents are caused by distracted driving, often related to use of cell phones or smart phones to text, check in on social media and the like. 1 in 4 crashes involve a distracted driver, and all too often, drivers, their passengers and other motorists are injured when someone takes their eyes off the road. Unfortunately, distracted driving is among the leading culprits that make car crashes the leading cause of death for young people ages 14 – 20.
Passenger Injuries and Fatalities
According to a recent survey, nearly 90 percent of drivers polled agreed that distracted driving is unsafe, yet only one third of teen respondents said they would say something if they are riding in a car with a distracted driver, which 4 out of 10 teens acknowledge experiencing in the past 6 months.
Although many teens feel that they have influence and that their distracted friend would listen if they spoke up, they often say nothing even though a friends driving behavior is putting them at risk as a passenger.
Unity Point in partnership with AAA have talking points to help teen passengers speak up when a driver is not paying attention which could potentially save lives:
Make a suggestion “You’re looking at your phone a lot. Do you mind not doing that?”
Tell them straight “Hey lets pull over to answer that text. I don’t want to get into an accident.”
Do something. Take their phone and say “I’ll text that for you, what you want to say?” Or offer to use your phone to look up addresses or other info so a driver can concentrate on the road.
Make it a big deal “Hey man, you are gonna to hurt someone, pay attention to the road!” or “I’m not going to ride with you again if you’re going to drive that way.”
Take a stance Stick to your word. Don’t ride with a friend or person who won’t change their habits. This not only protects you, but may save your friends life in the future by raising his or her awareness about the seriousness of the issue.
Buckle up Remember, that seat belts save lives. Of the 2,500 teen car crash fatalities each year, only half were buckled up. It is estimated that up to 70 percent of lives can be saved if drivers and passengers where their seat belts. Buckle up, pass it on.
Experienced Des Moines Distracted Driving Lawyers
If you or a family member has been injured in an Iowa car accident due to negligent use of a cell phone while driving, call the Des Moines distracted driving personal injury law offices of Stoltze & Stoltze for experienced answers to your questions at 515-244-1473 or contact us online.
Source: Unitypoint.org, “One Second“, accessed November 8, 2017.