Distracted Driving Threatens Youths

Did you know that distracted driving accounted for 20 percent of injury crashes in 2009? On U.S. roadways, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration reported 5,474 fatalities and about 448,000 of motor vehicle crashes involved distracted driving. NHTSA also revealed that of the total fatalities, 995 or 18 percent reported to have cell phones as their distraction.

Distracted driving can offer a serious and potential deadly threat to everyone. As defined by Distraction.gov, “distracted driving is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing.”

Distracted driving are categorized into three main types:

-Visual or taking your eyes off the road;
-Manual or taking your hands off the wheel;
-And cognitive, taking your mind off what you are doing.

Some common forms of distractions are the use of cell phones, texting while driving, talking with passengers, and in-vehicle technologies and portable electronic devices usage.

Ever notice why motor-vehicle crashes are still considered to be the number one killer of American teens despite the declining number of alcohol-related crashes? This is because distracted driving habits are growing among teens, and resulting accidents are still on the rise. Research shows that about 16 percent of fatal accidents involving distracted drivers are also drivers under-20 years old, according an NHTSA study.

The threat of distracted driving is not something that we should neglect. Alexis and Mark Breyer (The Husband and Wife Law Team) of Breyer Law Offices is proud to be the Southwest Regional sponsor for the American Lawyer Academy’s 2010 Viral Video Scholarship Contest. Students were instructed to create a public service style video promoting safe driving habits for a chance to win a $10,000 scholarship! Videos are open for the first round of public voting now, cast your vote today for your favorite! Winners will be announced on May 15th.

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