Category Archives: Teenage Drivers

Spread the Word: December is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month

National Impaired Driving Prevention MonthThe holidays are upon us, and Americans are excitedly traveling to family homes, shopping hotspots and friendly parties. It is a wonderful time of the year for celebrating and being with loved ones. That is why it is so important to be aware of the dangers that impaired driving present during the holiday season.

While most Americans have a general awareness of these threats, there are still many who are uneducated about how this easily preventable problem could affect them and their loved ones on a personal level. That is why President Barack Obama designated December as National Impaired Driving Prevention Month.

What is National Impaired Driving Prevention Month?

This special proclamation by the president was enacted to warn and educate all Americans of the dangers that impaired driving can create for drivers, passengers, and pedestrians. Through this effort, Obama and the U.S. government hope to promote responsible choices and prevent this deadly behavior that robs people of beloved family members and friends.

Although impaired driving presents a constant threat all year long, there is a noticeable spike in road traffic during holiday travel. These numbers go up even higher in the month of December as families go on shopping trips and family outings ahead of the big travel days to spend time together. It is also a time when increased celebration also means increased alcohol consumption, and it is the hope that NIDPM can help Americans to realize the importance of not mixing travel and alcohol.

National Impaired Driving Prevention Month was first recognized in 2012 when impaired driving accidents were becoming an epidemic that especially affected young people. In 2013, over 10,000 people were killed in an accident involving a drunk driver; that is one person every 53 minutes. The number had decreased slightly by 2015, but still, 28 people die every day as a result of drunk driving crashes. By far, the highest percentage of these were young people. In 2011, the percentage of impaired driving accidents involved:

  • 32 percent between ages 21 to 24
  • 30 percent between ages 25 to 34
  • 24 percent between ages 35 to 44

Although these numbers do not account for drivers under the legal drinking age, many of them are involved in crashes involving other substances. A survey from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration showed that in 2010, 13.2 percent of drivers over age 16 operated a vehicle under the influence of alcohol. Meanwhile, 4.3 percent of those people ages 16 and older drove under the use of illicit drugs in that same year.

Due to increased traffic and celebration, these numbers significantly increase during the holiday season. It is important for all Americans to be aware of the dangers of impaired driving and educate family members, especially the youth of America. Through education and prevention efforts like NIDPM, we hope that everyone will have a happy and safe holiday season in 2016 and bring in a safer year in 2017!

One major task that is a must for your 2017 to-do list should be making sure that all of your insurance policies are updated. If you wish to review your current policy or want to inquire about purchasing new coverage, don’t hesitate to reach out to us at (800) 443-7007 or receive an online auto insurance estimate by clicking here.

Texting Teens: Addressing the Distraction Behind the Wheel

Texting TeensThe new school year is officially underway, and thousands of teenagers are enjoying the freedom of driving themselves to and from school, sports, and other activities. Many of them are also glued to their mobile devices, waiting for that text from a crush or a friend to arrive. However, for teenage drivers, in particular, it’s crucial to remember how dangerous texting while driving can be. Every year, texting and driving (also known as “distracted driving”) causes numerous accidents that could otherwise have been avoided. Many of these automobile incidents have even resulted in one, or in some cases, multiple fatalities.

Numbers Never Lie:

Car accidents are the third leading cause of death in the U.S., and in general, being on the road carries a heavy potential for danger if traffic laws are not properly followed. Over 2.5 million people in the U.S. are involved in road accidents each year. However, of these, 64 percent (1.6 million) have a cell phone involved in them. It’s clear that driving while using a cell phone strongly increases the chance of getting in an accident. In fact, about 421,000 people are injured in crashes involving a distracted driver each year, with over 330,000 of these classified as serious injuries.

When it comes to texting and driving specifically, statistics show that the activity is much more dangerous and more prevalent than most people think. One out of every four car accidents in the U.S. is caused by texting while driving. This is because distracted driving is 6 times more likely to cause an accident than drunk driving. Texting while driving increases the chances of getting into a crash for any reason by 23 times.

Teenage Texting While Driving:

Unfortunately, teenagers often become the victims of distracted driving for several reasons. They are part of a generation that is more active on mobile phones in general. Furthermore, teenagers’ brains and reflexes have still not fully developed, and they don’t have enough experience on the road to operate a motor vehicle safely while dealing with multiple distractions, such as texting.

As a result, 11 teenagers die every day because of texting while driving. This number constitutes 21% of fatal accidents involving teenagers every year, and it’s so high because teenagers are four times more likely to crash while texting and driving than adults are. Even more frustratingly, 94 percent of teenagers say that they understand the consequences of texting and driving, but 35 of them still do it.

How Can I Address This Issue?

So what can parents do to be proactive in preventing their teen from texting while driving? First, have a conversation with them and be direct about the immense responsibilities that come along with possessing a drivers’ license, as well as the serious consequences that texting and driving could carry. Then, come up with a system: for example, they leave their phone in the backseat when they drive so they are not tempted to check their text messages. For those who may still be tempted to reach for their phone when they hear a message alert, turning the phone off completely while driving would be a preferred method. Depending on the maturity level of the teen, a parent may even want to consider requiring them to store their phone in the car’s truck or another lockable compartment to minimize the temptation of even glancing at their phone.

Taking your eyes off of the road for mere seconds while driving could mean the difference between a safe journey and a preventable tragedy. Always remember, NO text is worth a life!

We hope that all parents of licensed drivers explain the severity of texting while driving to their teen, as well as heeding the same advice themselves. If you found the above article helpful, we encourage you to check out more just like it on the Northeast Insurance Facebook Page!