Most teens have a lot going on: homework, SAT prep, college applications, extracurricular activities, sports, AP classes, scholarship applications, community service, even part time jobs. Due to the average teen’s busy schedule, 52% of teenagers only get 6 hours of sleep or less a night, much less than the National Sleep Foundation’s recommendation of 8-10 hours.
A high stress schedule leaves even young and energetic teens tired, distracted and pressed for time. Updating Snapchat stories, sending group text messages, managing multiple social media accounts and blogs, phone calls and more can turn even self described “safe” teen drivers into a danger to themselves and others on the road.
A study by Liberty Mutual Insurance and the Students Against Destructive Decisions reported that the nature of a typical teen’s high energy, non-stop lifestyle leads many to develop very dangerous, sometimes fatal driving behaviors. Liberty Mutual and SADD reached out to 1,622 11th and 12th graders and 1,000 parents of high schoolers across the US to participate in study.
Due to the non-stop cell phone usage typical of most of our tired, over-extended teens, 88% of self-proclaimed “safe” teen drivers confessed to posting to social media accounts and interacting with apps while driving. Additionally, 34% of teen drivers admit to glancing at app notifications while driving. What’s so important? Apparently keeping up with friends and family on social media.
Social Media App Usage Behind the Wheel: What App is most Abused?
Surprisingly, Snapchat is used by 38% of teens while driving, followed by Instagram at 21%, Twitter at 17%, Facebook at 12% and Youtube at 12%. According to the CDC, there are 9 fatal accidents involving distracted drivers every single day. With these alarming statistics, parents of teen drivers need to focus on emphasizing the dangers of distracted driving and setting a great safe driving example.
Cell phones aren’t always the enemy behind the wheel. After all, there are times (like your vehicle suddenly breaking down) that your cell phone can become your saving grace. To keep safe behind the wheel without ditching your phone, there are great options like the safety apps AT&T DriveMode and FleetMode (for big families and companies) that silence incoming alerts and automatically reply to friends and family when the vehicle is in motion to discourage distracted driving. Follow this link for more information FleetMode, or to download DriveMode to your Android or Apple device.