Distracted driving is likely one of the main causes of minor demise and harm in america. The Nationwide Freeway Visitors Security Administration reported that in 2019 distracted driving precipitated 15 p.c of harm crashes and 9 p.c of deadly crashes. To mark Distracted Driving Consciousness Month, we talked with Trauma Prevention and Outreach Coordinator Christy Adams, to debate ways in which dad and mom and households can preserve their teenage drivers secure behind the wheel. 

Female using cell phone while driving
Cellphone use whereas driving can result in automotive accidents.

“Right here at UC Davis Medical Middle, we deal with over 300 younger drivers yearly who have been injured in preventable crashes,” Adams stated. “The accidents we deal with are sometimes extreme with life-long penalties like mind harm, paralysis, power ache, even demise. Once more, the unhappy half is that these accidents may have been prevented.” 

What sorts of distractions are inflicting automotive crashes?

We at all times ask trauma sufferers in the event that they keep in mind what occurred once they received damage. I’ve heard teenagers describe numerous sorts of distractions that precipitated their crashes, from consuming meals and taking footage to altering garments within the automotive whereas driving.  

Why is getting distracted if you drive so harmful?

Any time you’re taking your eyes off the highway or your fingers off the wheel, even for a second, you hand over management of your automotive.

Individuals take it with no consideration that vehicles are secure or that they’re good drivers. However we see first-hand what occurs once they lose management in that break up second and the way a lot harm a automobile could cause. 

Is driving distracted extra of an issue for teenagers than older drivers?

Distracted driving is harmful no matter your age. For teen drivers, the dearth of driving expertise makes any kind of distraction much more harmful. New drivers are much less ready to make split-second driving choices which will forestall a collision. When their consideration is pulled away from driving, they’ve even much less time to react. 

Are all of the automotive crash accidents you deal with in teenagers as a result of distracted driving?

Distractions and inexperience are the most typical causes of minor crashes. However we additionally see the results of reckless driving decisions, like rushing, driving whereas intoxicated and never sporting a seat belt. 

Teenagers can typically be a tricky viewers to achieve. What can dad and mom do to enhance the security of their kids as they begin driving?

I’d say that there are three issues that oldsters can do: 

  1. Set a superb instance. We all know kids observe their dad and mom’ actions greater than their phrases. This goes for teenagers, too. It’s going to be onerous for any guardian to persuade their little one to not use a cellphone whereas driving in the event that they’re doing it themselves. 
  2. Discuss to your teenagers about distractions in order that they perceive it’s extra than simply texting. 
  3. Implement the restrictions of the California provisional license legal guidelines. Provisional licenses are particular restrictions for brand spanking new drivers. We’ve seen a dramatic discount in teen driving fatalities in states like California that require provisional licenses for brand spanking new drivers, however dad and mom want to assist implement. The provisional licenses set restrictions on driving teen passengers and driving after 11 p.m. with out grownup supervision. That is actually vital as a result of we all know that having a number of teen passengers within the automotive can quadruple the chance of a crash. 

What’s UC Davis Well being doing to deal with the issue of minor distracted driving?

Our Trauma Prevention and Outreach Program gives free classroom training to colleges within the Sacramento space. For extra info or to schedule a presentation, contact 916-734-9798. 

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