Philadelphia personal injury lawyer, Stuart Carpey, is firmly behind a local campaign to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving. Teens Against Drunk Driving, Inc. (T.A.D.D.) is a Not For Profit community service organization that provides students with a pledge against distracted driving and a reminder wristband. The wristband reads “ I PLDG 2 NT TXT N DRV”. The bracelets come with a pledge card that the student signs, promising to not text while driving. In fact, anyone can take the pledge online at www.teensagainstdistracteddriving.com. On Carpey’s Facebook page, he notes that there are two ways for parents and others to get involved in the campaign:
- Bring this campaign to your school and sell the bracelets as a fundraiser.
- Give the bracelets away and have people sign the pledge to raise awareness.
Carpey plans to speak about this subject at local high schools and firehouses. He strongly believes that many teen traffic accidents can be avoided if teenagers are presented with the facts about traffic fatalities. For instance more than 30,000 traffic fatalities occur every year in the United States. About 17,000 of those people who die in traffic accidents are under the age of 21. Teens, between the age of 16-19, are involved in roughly 17% of all car crashes. It is very important to present teen drivers with these startling statistics, and get a level of commitment from them to not text and drive. If teens sign the pledge and wear the wristband, they are much less likely to text while driving, and thus much less likely to be in a serious accident while driving.
Teens are asked to share the pledge with parents, because distracted driving affects anyone who owns a cell phone and uses it behind the wheel. While one of the main causes of distracted driving is the cell phone, there are other causes.
In April of this year, SmartDrive Systems, released a study of 35,000 commercial drivers and their distracted driving habits, called the 2010 SmartDrive Distracted Driving Index. The study used video and audio to record the habits of these drivers. The study pinpointed the top nine causes of distracted driving, including holding an object in the hand, talking on a cell phone, eating or drinking, smoking, talking on a mobile phone using a hands-free device, and operating a handheld device. The study further proved that driving distractions cause fundamental driving errors that can result in crashes.
In 2009, studies showed that almost 5,500 fatalities and 60,000 injuries were cause by distracted driving. The results of distracted driving are similar to driving with a blood alcohol content of .08!
There are several mobile applications also designed to prevent or inhibit the use of mobile phones while driving. Here is a short list:
- Cell Safety
- Start Talking Hands Free Texting
The problem of distracted driving has escalated with the rising use of smartphones and social media. The Philadelphia area Teens Against Distracted Driving program seeks to educate young drivers about the dangers of distracted driving and to have them commit in a pledge that they will refrain from texting while driving.