According the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, distracted driving accidents killed over 3,100 people in 2020 and injured almost 325,000 more. Teen drivers (15-19 years old) accounted for 8% of those deaths, though only 5.1% of all drivers are teens. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month, a nationwide effort to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving and eliminate preventable deaths and injuries on our roads. End Distracted Driving (EndDD.org) has resources and information you can share with your PTA members about distracted driving.
End Distracted Driving cites some sobering statistics:
- Based on research, distracted driving occurs in more than 36% of all trips in the US.
- Driver distraction is responsible for more than 58% of teen crashes.
- About 1 in 5 people killed by distracted drivers in 2018 were not in vehicles—they were walking, riding bikes, or otherwise outside of vehicles (e.g., changing a tire).
- Cell phone users while driving are 5.36 times more likely to get into an accident than undistracted drivers.
- Over 84% of drivers recognize the danger from cell phone distractions and find it “unacceptable” that drivers text or send an email while driving. Nevertheless, 36% of these same people admit to having read or sent a text message or e-mail while driving in the previous month.
- Teens whose parents drive distracted are 2 to 4 times more likely to drive distracted.
What You or Your PTA Can Do
End Distracted Driving lists the following things you or your PTA can do to educate drivers on the dangers of distracted driving:
- Schedule a presentation by one of End Distracted Driving’s speakers.
- Use End Distracted Driving’s lesson plans for grades 2-6 to encourage teachers to incorporate it into their classrooms or to create a program for your families.
- Speak with those you care about to end distracted driving.
- Turn off notifications while driving. Last year was the first Do Not Disturb While Driving Day, and it is scheduled annually on the 3rd Thursday in October (October 19th this year).
- Share End Distracted Driving’s resources with your families, including the Family Safe Driving Agreement, Distracted Driving Prevention Solutions brochure, videos, and handouts.