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By now you’re probably — and hopefully — very clear on the dangers of texting while driving, not to mention the hefty ticket you can get if caught doing it (or talking on your phone without a headset) behind the wheel, Tecca reports. As much as parents would like to hope their kids are also also obeying the law when driving on their own, there hasn’t been a way to ensure they are — but there soon could be. AT&T is working on a smartphone and tablet app that will let parents disable texting, calling, and even internet access on their child’s phone remotely, switching these features off automatically if it’s determined that they’re traveling in a vehicle. The app could also send parents alerts if their kids are driving too fast or dangerously, keeping a log of potentially reckless activity so that they can be gone over once the child returns home……Read More
A new federal study shows dramatic improvement in the driving habits of U.S. high school students, but texting by teenagers behind the wheel is a concern, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday, Reuters reports. One in three high school students reported they had texted or emailed while driving during the previous 30 days, according to the centers’ 2011 youth risk behavior survey of 15,000 high school students. The percentage of those who had texted or emailed while driving was higher for upper classmen, with nearly 43 percent of 11th graders and 58 percent of 12th graders saying they had done so in the past month. This is the first time texting questions were included in this survey.
“Texting or emailing while driving a car can have deadly consequences,” said Howell Wechsler, director of the CDC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health. The CDC did not have statistics on how many teens are killed annually from accidents caused by texting or emailing…
More than half of U.S. students in their last year before college admit they text or eMail while driving—the first federal statistics on how common the dangerous habit is among teens.
An anonymous national survey conducted last year found that 58 percent of students said they had texted or eMailed while driving during the previous month.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released the survey results June 7.…Read More
The text was about something innocuous: A request to go to the county fair. It set off a highway pileup that took two lives, injured dozens and left two school buses and a pickup truck in a crumpled heap, the Huffington Post reports. As the nation debates a federal recommendation to eliminate cellphone use in cars, the high school band students from St. James who were involved in the wreck last year have already done it themselves. After losing one of their classmates, many of the teens made a vow: Using a cellphone behind the wheel is something they just won’t do. The young man who was on the other end of the pivotal text exchange, who says he didn’t know his friend was driving, is still haunted by the catastrophic result of what began as a simple message about their plans…
Kamy Mayott has been told that texting while driving is dangerous—but the 15-year-old didn’t know just how dangerous until she navigated a golf cart through an obstacle course while texting and took out a whole row of orange cones, reports the Associated Press. “It definitely taught me to be careful and not to text while driving, because I’m going to kill somebody,” Mayott said. So far, 25 states have banned texting while driving, but many are going a step further, sending kids through similar courses so they can see the errors, accidents, and fatalities they could cause. Officials hope the reality will alleviate the temptation to send an electronic message to a friend while behind the wheel. “It’s pretty eye-opening for the kids,” said David Teater, senior director of transportation initiatives for the National Safety Council in Itasca, Ill. “They’re very unsuccessful at texting and navigating the cones.” The NSC estimates that 28 percent of crashes—or 1.6 million per year—are caused by cell phone use, either talking or texting……Read More
The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet’s Drive Smart division is using a simulator program to educate the public, particularly young drivers, on the hazards of distracted driving, WKMS reports. A study from the Pew Internet and American Life Project says young people between the ages of 12 and 17 send an average of 100 texts a day. The trend is worrisome, because teenagers often don’t put away their phones when they get behind the wheel. Students at Murray High School in Murray, Ky., recently tried out the Distracted Driving, or “D2,” Simulator. The machine looks like a NASCAR arcade game, and it’s designed to recreate the driving experience as accurately as possible. Students provide their own distractions. “I want you to find a text message that someone has sent to you and read it out loud to me,” Kentucky Young Drivers Program Manager Shane Ratcliff says as he directs a 16-year-old through the simulator. The simulation ends and Ratcliff explains the statistics that pop up on the screen. Before the student realized it, a stop sign was on screen for 4.3 seconds, and the car had traveled over four hundred feet. In total, the car took six hundred feet to stop. “Well, I’m dead. Now put the phone away, and we’ll do it again while you’re paying attention, and we’ll show you how much different it is,” Ratcliff tells the student. He says most young people don’t listen to a warning about distracted driving, but when they see it for themselves, the result is different……Read More