“100 Deadliest Days” for Teen Drivers

AAA has given the name “100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers to the period of time starting Memorial Day Weekend and ending Labor Day Weekend.  For parents of teen drivers this is very concerning.  It is reported that teens get into 16% more deadly car crashes, that is 10 deaths a day, during these 100 days of summer.  There are many factors that contribute to this statistic.  In the summer teens are driving a lot more because they are not just driving to school anymore, they are venturing to the beach, to parks, to places they have never driven.  And they are doing it with their friends in the car.  The Foundations for Traffic Safety stated that 60% of teen crashes resulted from distracted driving.  The 2 major distractions for teens are:

teen driver

  • passengers in the car
  • cell phones

If a teen is driving with friends they are 44% more likely to get into a fatal car crash.  Many are surprised that texting while driving is not the number one cause of deadly crashes.  But passengers are a constant distractions, while texting distracts for a few seconds.  Parents should stress to their teens about the dangers of both driving with friends and texting. Distractions in any form take the driver’s eyes away from their sole task of safely driving a car.  AAA recommends to teen drivers a complete ban on cell phones while driving, we absolutely agree!  Let’s all try to make these 100 Days of Summer a fun and safe time.  Drive safely!

Distracted Driving

testing while drivingApril is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. We all try to multi-task, especially while driving…one of the worst places to do it! On your way home from work, rushing to think of dinner plans, you decide ordering take-out is easiest. While driving you are searching your phone for the number or asking Siri to find it for you, not fully paying attention to the road. A car stops short in front of you and you end up rear-ending them. If you are lucky and everyone is ok, this is still an at fault accident that will give you a surcharge on your car insurance, just because you were trying to multi-task. Don’t. One call/text could ruin everything while driving. The statistics are there: you are 4x more likely to get in a car crash while using a cell phone or hand held device. Don’t assume that since you have a hand held device it is risk free.

1. Hands-free features in dashboards actually increase mental distraction

2. Using voice-to-text is more distracting than typing texts while driving

3. Drivers who text with their hands or voice (using speech-to-text systems) keep their eyes on the road less often and have reaction times twice as slow

The truth is using your cell phone in any form, is making you a distracted driver. Please don’t make a statistic out of yourself and take the focused driver challenge. There are many ways we can be distracted while driving, but using a cell phone is the number one distraction. So if you try to limit your phone use to while you are stopped or when you get to your destination, you will be a lot safer and so will the other people on the road.

* statistics from The National Safety Council

As a Driver, would You prefer to use Voice Activated, Hands Free Technology?

Hands free devices may sound like something out of the future, but this type of technology could be closer to becoming a reality than you think. Would you ever want to have the ability to operate your vehicle at the same time as you are texting or talking on the phone? As a driver, you must always be aware of your surroundings, but when your voice controls your phone or music, this could put you a unique risk for an accident.

According to a study conducted by AAA, hands free, voice recognition devices can be just as distracting to drivers as the traditional, hand held ones. Motorists were found to have delayed reaction times and missed visual cues such as stop signs while using hands free devices. Although automakers have been trying to develop systems for safer texting and phone calling on smart phones, that doesn’t erase the cognitive distractions the action of talking brings.

The researchers measured brainwaves and eye movement to evaluate the drivers’ mental workload. It was found that the focus on the road was decreased more so than if no devices were used at all. Therefore, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration strongly suggests that officials reinforce the idea that mobile devices should be disabled unless the vehicle is stopped and in park.

At Mancuso-Nowak Insurance Agency, we hope motorists don’t take driving for granted. This is a privilege, not a right. Therefore, being responsible and safe behind the wheel can keep everyone both on and off the road out of harm’s way. If you feel you require more protection, then having our auto insurance may help. Our team knows that your needs differ from those of other drivers. Therefore, we will help you every step of the way so you can protect what is important to you.