Texting while driving is as much a problem in Alabama as the rest of the United States. While adults are also guilty of distracted driving, it is teens who are most at risk. As less experienced drivers, they sometimes lack the skills to take proper corrective action to avoid a car accident and smartphones only worsen this situation. According to CNBC, 6 out of 10 crashes involving teens also involve texting while driving. The data collected for the study that yielded these results also showed that distracted driving accounted for 76% of rear-end crashes and 89% of crashes that involved running off the road.
Perhaps what is even more terrifying is that teen drivers had their eyes away from the road for 4.1 seconds of the final six seconds before these crashes occurred. CNBC notes that previous studies in the auto industry has warned that drivers should never have their eyes off the road for more than three seconds. While smartphones accounted for 12% of teen crashes, it was not the only form of distracted driving. Being distracted by objects inside or outside the vehicle, singing and dancing to music, grooming and reaching for objects were also to blame.
As a result of these and other studies, many states have banned texting while driving. Now that some years have passed since the first state implemented the ban, experts have access to data to see the effect this has had on crashes. CNN reports that ER visits related to car accidents have declined in states that implemented the ban. More specifically, there has been a 4% decline, which correlates with 1,632 emergency visits. There was also an 8% reduction in crash-related injuries in states where the ban affected drivers of all ages.
This is good news for states that have considered how best to keep the roads safe as more teenage drivers get their license. Banning texting while driving at all ages helps to encourage teenagers to put their phones away. Perhaps of equal importance, it also compels adults to set an example.