Drivers should be careful
Published 5:46 pm Monday, June 22, 2009
A recently released report named drivers in the South as some of the worst in the nation when it comes to knowing basic road rules. This report and recent high-publicity accidents caused by drivers text messaging while driving should be a wakeup call on the dangers of driving while distracted. A dozen states have even passed legislation prohibiting texting while operating a motor vehicle.
While the dangers of distracted driving apply to all drivers, they have an increased risk for younger drivers. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, in their first year on the road, teen drivers are more than 10 times as likely to be involved in an automobile accident. Any driver who talks on a mobile phone is four times more likely to be involved in a serious crash, regardless of whether the driver uses a hands-free cell. Cell phone usage is blamed for a majority of the more than 5,000 annual teenage driving fatalities stemming from “distracted drivers.”
Driver distractions are not just dangerous, they are deadly, and this problem extends to any age group, not just teens or beginner drivers. All drivers, and especially parents, should set a good example and put down their phone while operating a motor vehicle.
Wendy Folmar and Spike Maxwell are Brewton State Farm agents.