When your song starts to play in the car, what’s the first thing you do? Reach for that volume button and turn it up! This is something many drivers engage in on the way to work or school to enjoy our commute without a second thought. However, small, quick actions like this can have unforeseen consequences.
Driver distraction is the leading cause of car accidents, and for teens, the rates of distracted driving are the highest they’ve ever been. In today’s world, it’s very easy for drivers to get distracted while behind the wheel. Thus, knowing when it’s happening, is key to refocusing your attention on the road and being a safer driver.
Top Four Driving Distractions for Teens
Texting while behind the wheel has become a leading cause of fatalities on the roadways. Even though we are consistently reminded of the dangers that come from texting while driving, it’s a habit that drivers continue to do. Statistically speaking, nearly 40 percent of high schoolers surveyed in 2017 reported texting while driving. Not only is it incredibly dangerous to themselves, but this bad habit affects everyone else on and off the roadways.
2. Social Media Applications
Social media is an everyday affair now that continues to grow. We Snapchat while we’re eating, Instagram brunch, live tweet the Bachelor and hit up TikTok when the moment strikes us. Although social media keeps us connected to each other and provides entertainment, the important thing to remember is to not use any of these apps while we’re driving.
There’s nothing wrong with listening to music in order to make your drive more enjoyable. However, it is important to be aware of how often you are taking your hands off the steering wheel to change the music, as well as how loud the volume is. In order to feel as safe as you can while you’re on the road, it’s important to still be able to hear other drivers and sirens from emergency vehicles.
4. Additional Passengers
During a Teen Crash Report by AAA, they revealed that the number one cause of distracted driving among teenagers is actually having other passengers in the car. It makes sense – passengers can be loud, and drivers can easily get lost in conversation. Although it’s fun to drive around others, it’s still just as important to maintain safe driving practices while behind the wheel.
As you practice driving, your confidence will grow along with your ability to eliminate and recognize distractions, which can prove dangerous to you and others. Encourage your friends to brush up on distracted driving, too, so we can all safely enjoy and share the road ahead.