On September 17, AAA, Seventeen Magazine and the Department of Transportation are asking everyone to save a life by taking two seconds to turn off their cell phone before driving during the Seventeen Two-Second Turnoff Day.
AAA and Seventeen Magazine teamed up and surveyed nearly 2,000 males and females between the ages of 16-19 to discover what risky behaviors they’re engaging in while driving, and how they justify those behaviors.
AAA’s Spokesperson Bevi Powell says the results were frightening:
• 84% of teenage drivers know distracted driving is dangerous.
• 9 out of 10, or 86%, engage in distracted driving behaviors anyway.
• 73% have adjusted their radio.
• 61% have eaten food.
• 60% have talked on the phone or text messaged.
They justified the above information with this:
• 41% think their action will only take a split second.
• 35% don’t think they’ll get hurt.
• 34% said they’re good at multitasking.
• 32% don’t think anything bad will happen to them.
Powell says traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teen drivers. She says it's especially imperative for them to be completely focused on the road while driving because of the lack of driving experience, and their willingness to take risks. She says the chances of a car accident are doubled when a driver takes his or her eyes off the road for just two seconds.
Powell says texting while driving is among the riskiest common driving distractions. She says according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, “nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted or inattentive driver, and more than a half million were injured…so it is a very serious problem.”