POSTED BY: BOB KNOTTS
As we had noted in a recent blog, April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month. Since our very cool, teen-created I Care teen driver safety program is mainly about the dangers of distracted driving, we felt that another blog on this topic is a good idea.
Did you know that if you take your eyes off the road for two seconds or longer, you double your chance of having a car accident? And did you know that on average your eyes are focused away from the road for five seconds when texting — and that at only 55 mph you travel 100 yards during that time? That’s like driving the length of a football field, blindfolded. These are just two of many examples of distracted driving’s perils.
At the Humanity Project, we hope to encourage teens to keep their focus where it belongs when on our highways. I Care, of course, avoids scare tactics. All the horrific movies showing car crashes and injured victims, all the dire warnings … they don’t work. Research has long shown that this approach simply doesn’t stay in the minds of teens. Or anyone else, for that matter. Who wants to sit behind the wheel of their car and remember the terrible things that could happen to them in an automobile? It’s simply too scary for us, so we push those memories out of our minds and go on our merry motoring way. Texting, checking email, looking at sports scores, etc.
But I Care uses humor and pathos and appealing graphics to deliver our message, then we ask teens to share that message with their best friends and parents in ways that can alter behind-the-wheel behavior. Still, it is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month afterall. We hope the facts quoted above can serve as a reality check to each of us. Let’s face it, nearly every motorist could do a better job of paying attention to their driving. Maybe this month is a good time for us to begin.