Thirty-five states in the US have banned texting while driving—but that doesn’t mean people are putting down their phones. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration asked 6,000 drivers last year about their driving habits, and the vast majority (90%) of respondents said that they would support a rule that banned texting while driving. In spite of this, two in ten drivers admitted to texting or sending emails behind the wheel. Even more concerning is that among younger drivers (aged 20-24), 50% admitted to texting while driving.
It seems most drivers seemed to think that even when they were engaging in distracting behavior, they were still able to drive safely; whether they were texting, putting on make-up or even reading the paper. But over 3,000 people died last year from accidents caused by distracted drivers, and most of those distractions were cell phone related. Ray LaHood, Transportation Secretary, is attempting to pass federal legislation that bans texting while driving and stops senseless deaths. While we can hope that if this legislation passes more people will avoid distractions, safe driving really starts with you.
That is exactly why I started Teens Against Distracted Driving (TADD.) It is up to each of us not only to drive safely, but also to spread awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. There are lots of ways that you can help: you can take our pledge (and get a free bracelet!), you can spread awareness at your school, you can take our survey or you can check out some of these great sites and resources. Texting and driving is an epidemic, but it can be stopped one driver at a time!