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distracted driving Archives

Be Aware This Thanksgiving!

As you may be aware, Thanksgiving Day is one of the most dangerous days of the year to be on the road.  As the holiday is fast approaching, it is a good time to remind others to take care as they plan their Thanksgiving holiday travel. According to USA Today,  "During each Thanksgiving week from 2005-2010, the average number of traffic fatalities nationwide was 798; for all other weeks, the average was 748, according to a new University of Alabama analysis of federal data on road deaths." Additionally, car crashes, in general, tend to rise to about 25% above the average on Thanksgiving as compared to other days during the year. 

Drug and Alcohol Use High Among Commercial Truck Drivers

Summer is a prime time for families to hit the road and enjoy the American tradition of a summer road trip vacation. Often, we share the roads with large tractor-trailers.  Unfortunately, sometimes drivers of these trucks are not following best safety practices. These drivers are sometimes engaged in dangerous habits, such as distracted driving and operating their truck while fatigued.  Equally as alarming is a recent study that was highlighted by Reuters.  According their article, truck drivers across countries sometimes also take illegal drugs and then drive their vehicles.  This information, compiled via drivers self-reports and through results of drug testings, found that " about half [of truck drivers] admitted to drinking and driving and 30 percent admitted to using amphetamines, on average. The numbers varied greatly from country to country." However, the article also noted that "One U.S. study had the highest frequency of positive alcohol tests worldwide, at 12.5 percent."

Top Causes of Teen Summer Driving Accidents

Many of us know that summer is a big season for teen driving accidents, since students are out of school and on the roads more frequently.  However, did you know what the major causes of teen driving accidents in the summer are? AAA has compiled some data to take a look at this phenomenon, what the causes of accidents are, and how we can help prevent them.  According to their study, the top causes for teen driving accidents in the summer are 1) talking or getting something for someone else in the vehicle, 2) using their cell phones to talk, text, and/or use an app, and 3) attending/looking for something else inside of the vehicle.  

Apps to Reduce Distracted Driving

Did you know that there are apps you can download to help you be a safer driver?  DMV.org listed some apps that you can put on your phone to keep you safer and less distracted when driving down our nation's roads.  Some of the apps block text messages while you're driving, while others send out notifications when you've left and arrived at your destination safely.  Others share your location and reward you for the numbers of safe miles that you've driven! Read more here to figure out which apps may be right for you and your family members.  

Truck Drivers Guilty of Distracted Driving

When you see tractor-trailers moving along our country's highways, you expect their drivers to be safe, alert, and vigilant. Unfortunately, this is not always the case.  A local New York City news source posted an article a few years ago about the increased occurrence of truck drivers who text and drive.  According to the news report, through local ABC news station 13WHAM,  "A hidden camera investigation has uncovered a dangerous trend on highways. WABC-TV in New York City set up camera on several of highly travel roadways, catching truckers texting and talking on their phones and one driver even talking on two cell phones at once. The New York State Department of Transportation said nearly 16,000 truckers were ticketed for distracted driving in 2013, but only four of them were suspended and taken out of service." 4 out of 16,000 drivers who were caught texting while driving seems like a tiny percentage!  

AAA Report Targets Distracted Driving

Although all age groups are guilty of distracted driving, a new study by AAA notes that young millennials (ages 18-24) are engaging in many risky behaviors while driving.  Almost 90% of drivers in this age group reported eating, video chatting, texting, and other activities while driving that can be considered "distracted driving".  Although these risky behaviors did appear to decrease with age, all age groups were engaged in some degree of distracted/risky activities while driving.  According to one report, distracted driving was responsible for about 11% of wrecks in PA over the last five years. In 2015, that means that about 15,000 wrecks occurred due to distracted driving.  

Girl Livestreams On Facebook While Driving, Crashes Car

Unfortunately, our state just received another sobering reminder of what can happen if you engage in distracted driving.  According to news reports, a teenager was live-streaming herself on Facebook while driving. Right after she started streaming, she was hit by a tractor-trailer that killed both her and her passenger.  The video was taken off the victim's  Facebook page and will be used in the state police investigation. 

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