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This week’s safety topic is focused on teenagers and driving. A study conducted by The Reporter, Car and Driver Magazine, shows that a person talking and/or texting while driving takes longer to stop a vehicle than a driver who is considered legally drunk with a 0.08 percent blood-alcohol content. The study found that at 70 mph an intoxicated driver needed only four more feet to brake versus a driver sending a text message needing 70 more feet to stop than an unimpaired driver. This may be a little surprising to some, but it is also the reason distracted driving is turning into the new DUI.
To reduce the risks of texting while driving, West Virginia has banned all hand-held devices as a primary law. The text message ban is also considered a primary law. All novice drivers and school bus drivers are banned from using a cell phone at all while driving.
75% of serious teenage driver collisions are the result of critical errors including being distracted by something inside the vehicle. Distraction is the cause of 58% of those crashes, and collisions happen within 6 seconds of being distracted.
Most parents constantly remind their kids not to drink and drive. A lot of kids are texting and driving every single day and won’t hesitate to admit it. Young drivers will often see their parents text while driving which makes them think it’s OK too. Parents need to be role models for safe driving by not texting or using their cell phones.