Texting and Walking Injuries Are Increasing
August 31, 2015
Texting and walking injuries and deaths are on the rise according to a new report released by the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA) and the danger is especially high for teens. The report is a compilation of several studies including data compiled by Ohio State University, the University of Washington, the University of Georgia, and the Pew Research Center.
According to the Ohio State research, “between 2004 and 2010 the number of pedestrians killed while using a cell phone increased from less than 1% to 3.6%” and, in 2010, more than 1,500 pedestrians were estimated to be treated for injuries related to cell phone use while walking. Since 2005, the number of pedestrians injured while using a cell phone has more than doubled.
The Washington State researchers observed more than 1,100 pedestrians at 20 intersections in Seattle and found that “approximately one-third were engaged in a distracting activity such as emailing, talking to another person or listening to music.”
The University of Georgia researchers did a similar study but selected 20 intersections that were considered to be high risk based on data from the Georgia Department of Transportation. Their study showed that nearly half of pedestrians were engaged in some sort of distracting behavior.
A Pew Research Center survey found that 53 percent of adult cell phone users have bumped into something or someone due to distracted walking. The bump rate is especially high for those in the 18 to 24 year age group.
The problem is especially bad for teens who do this on a regular basis. Safe Kids Worldwide reports that forty percent of teens have been hit or nearly hit by a car, bike or motorcycle while walking. Their report shows that one out of five teens and one out of eight middle schoolers regularly cross the street while distracted by some sort of technology. Teens now have the highest pedestrian death rate among children 19 and younger.
The problem has become so bad that the Urban Dictionary has coined a new phrase for it: Petextrian n. One who texts while walking, usually unaware of their surroundings.
It’s obvious that, if you can’t even text and walk safely, texting while driving is out of the question.
Read more: Everyone Walks
Driver Distractions Contribute To 60 Percent Of Teen Crashes
March 26, 2015
Driver distractions are a factor in almost 60 percent of teen crashes according to a new report by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. To gather the data for this study, researchers viewed dash cam footage from teen drivers age 16 to 19 who participated in the study. From this data, the researchers were able to view the actions of the teen drivers in the final seconds leading up to a total of 1,691 teen crashes that occurred between August 2007 and July 2013.
The data showed that driver distractions were a factor in 58 percent of the teen crashes. The AAA infographic below shows the most common types of distracting behavior leading to a crash. (Click on graphic to enlarge)
Cell phones and other teens aren’t the only types of driver distractions. A recent study from Oregon State University found that twenty-seven percent of teens admitted to changing clothes and shoes while driving. They also reported changing contact lenses, putting on makeup, and doing homework behind the wheel.
As expected, use of cell phones was a major factor in the AAA study and the researchers feel that the involvement of cell phones occurs more often than government statistics show. In the crashes where cell phone use was a factor:
- Drivers operating or looking at cell phones looked away from the forward roadway excessively – spent an average of 4.1 seconds out of final 6 seconds before the crash looking away.
- The driver exhibited no reaction at all before impact in over half of rear-end crashes involving cell phone use.
In a previous article, we reported that speed and driver distractions were the most common cause of teen crashes. According to the AAA study, excessive speed was a factor in 79 percent of the single vehicle crashes. When excessive speed and driver distraction are combined, the results can be deadly.
Read more: Fact Sheet – Environmental Factors and Driver Behaviors in Teen Driver Crashes
Parents Ignore Teen’s Advice Against Texting, Driving High
August 8, 2014
Parents are ignoring their teen’s advice against texting and driving while high. This strange sort of modern day turnaround was revealed in a survey conducted by Liberty Mutual Holding Co. The survey results showed that 42 percent of teens report that they have asked parents to stop texting while driving and 18 percent have complained to their parents about driving while high on marijuana. Continue Reading
Phones Still a Big Distraction for Teen Drivers
March 25, 2014
According to a 2009 Pew Research Center survey, 40% of teens say they have been in a car when the driver used a cell phone in a way that put themselves or others in danger and 48% of all teens ages 12-17 say they have been in a car when the driver was texting. Read more: Teens and Distracted Driving
Esurance Introduces Free Device to Limit Cell Phone and Texting
March 10, 2014
Esurance, an online insurance company that is a subsidiary of Allstate Insurance has announced a new program that allows parents of teen drivers to install a device that prevents texting and limits the numbers that a teen driver can call.
The program, known as Esurance Drive Safe, provides the device to customers free of charge; it does not however reduce the insurance rate.
According to the Esurance website, the program works like this:
“Once you’ve signed up, we’ll send you a telematics device free of charge with step-by-step instructions on how to get started. Continue Reading