Teenage girls are twice as likely than teenage boys to use electronic devices while driving. A study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that newly licensed girls talk on their cell phones, text and use other hand held devices much more than boys. The study results were based on data from in-car video cameras.
Whatever your age, this type of behavior kills. More than 3,000 traffic deaths were attributed to distracted driving in 2010. And those are only the fatalities that could be strongly connected with cell phone use and other dangerous driving behaviors. There are almost certainly many more incidents that could not be linked to cell phone use or other distractions.
Parents can take steps to protect their children from the dangers of distracted driving:
Practice, even after the child receives a driver’s license
Don’t let your child drive with multiple passengers, especially other teenagers
Keep nighttime driving to a minimum
Set family driving rules that mirror or strengthen those of New York. Establish strict penalties if the rules are violated, and enforce them!
Advocate for laws that prohibit cell phone and other electronic device use in cars. Join the vice chairman of the NTSB, who has asked the New York State legislature to ban voice controlled devices in cars, even though many car companies are exploring or introducing voice controlled devices.
And girls are not the only offenders when it comes to distracted driving. Teenaged boys are more likely than girls to shout out the window to someone or turn to talk with passengers in the back seat.
Source: Forbes, “Distracted Driving Kills; Teenage Girls Are Especially At Risk, AAA Says,” Mar. 28, 2012.