If you don’t do anything else this summer to warn your teens about the dangers of distracted driving, at least make them watch this video.
As our Chicago car accident lawyers have reported again and again both here and on our sister site, Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, the dangers of distracted driving are very real, particularly for young people. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reports that car accidents are the leading cause of death for young drivers ages 15 to 20 and teenagers are most likely to be involved in a serious or fatal car accident caused by text messaging.
This video is actually a public service announcement running on British television. While the U.S. government has started a website Distraction.gov in an effort to warn about the dangers of driving distracted, they certainly have not taken it to the street with an in-your-face message like this aimed at teenagers.
The New England Journal of Medicine mentioned the British campaign in an article about the dangers of text messaging and distracted driving. As the article states, at least one study has found that driving while using a cell phone is as dangerous as driving while intoxicated. Drivers who text message are at 23 times greater risk of being involved in an accident.
At least 1.6 million traffic accidents are caused each year by a driver using a cell phone or text messaging.
Now, with publication of the issue in one of the nation’s premiere medical journals, distracted driving has officially become a health issue. The article’s author, Dr. Amy Ship, notes that speaking to patients about the dangers of smoking increases a patient’s chances of quitting. She urges doctors to begin talking to patients about the dangers of distracted driving.
By opening such a dialogue with patients, she has found an opportunity to discuss with them the dangers of using a cell phone even if it’s a hands-free device.
You can do the same by opening a discussion with your child and help reduce their risk of being involved in a serious or fatal Chicago car accident.
You can read more about Illinois Young Driver Program here.
Additional advice for speaking with your teen about safe driving is available here.
Read the New England Journal of Medicine Report
If you are involved in an accident, contact the Chicago car accident attorneys at Abels & Annes for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call (866) 99-ABELS. There is no fee unless you win.