With the growing spotlight on distracted driving getting bigger and bigger in the past few years, much of that focus has shined on the influence teenagers have in the overall landscape of road safety. Distracted Driving Awareness Month took place in April and with it came numerous different campaigns and studies aimed to better road safety for the future. One of the most compelling bits of research during the month was conducted by AT&T, who looked to find a true stamp for teenagers’ feelings on distracted driving.
The results of the research were quite telling in that the bulk of teenagers identified distracted driving as dangerous (over 40 percent), but then admitted to regularly texting and driving. These results continue to show that the teenage demographic will have a large impact on the major share of distracted driving.
Along with the survey done by AT&T, another recent poll by Bridgestone (tiremaker) found that over a third of the teenagers questioned admitted to sending text messages while behind the wheel. The same survey found that girls are more likely to use a phone while driving than a boy is.
From both of these recent bits of research it’s clear that despite the great efforts to minimize distracted driving in the last few years, there’s still a long way to go. Where that will start is unclear. Many states already have texting laws, even more so for drivers who are under the age of 18. It’s likely that minimizing distracted driving cases will have to come from a mix of laws and action from automakers and cell phone developers.
These automakers and cell phone makers have recently started to grab much of the attention of the US Government. Many feel that in car technology and the expansion of mobile devices is adding fuel to the fire that is distracted driving.
Regardless of what takes place from a lawmaking standpoint, awareness is the first step to cutting down instances of distracted driving. With a successful awareness month behind us, many in the same industry are turning their attention to Global Youth Traffic Safety Month, which should serve to continue helping to make the roads safer over time. As long as awareness of distracted driving issues can continue to be spread through campaigns such as these, there’s strong hope for safer roadways and less distracted driving in the future.