Easy Ways To Reduce Teen Text Distractions
Researchers know teens text and drive at a staggering rate.
New research has them thinking a multipronged approach with financial incentives and phone disabling apps could reduce those figures.
“More than half of teens in the United States admit to texting while driving,” said Kit Delgado, assistant professor of Emergency Medicine at Penn and lead author of a recent study on distracted driving and teenagers. “A phone setting or third-party app that automatically responds to incoming texts, yet leaves navigation and music functions accessible could curb this epidemic.”
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has advocated for a “Driver Mode” on smartphones—akin to “Airplane Mode”—to curb distracted driving.
Last year Apple rolled out a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” function for iPhones. This optional feature locks the screen, halts incoming texts and sends automatic replies, and limits incoming calls.
Delgao suggested that appealing to a teen’s wallet could also prove effective.
He pointed to insurance incentive programs that reward drivers who enable the “Do not disturb while driving” function on their smartphone.
Quick stats about distracted driving, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration:
- Every day, nine people are killed and more than 1,000 injured in crashes that reportedly involve a distracted driver.
- 319,000 people were injured in crashes related to distracted driving in 2015, the latest available year of research. That’s down from 431,000 in 2014.
- Nearly 3,500 people were killed in crashes related to distracted driving in 2015.
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