Friday, April 3, 2015

Teens Texting While Driving

At least they aren't smoking!

"Hiking tobacco age saves lives, study says" Associated Press  March 13, 2015

RICHMOND — Raising the legal age to buy tobacco to age 19 and higher would likely prevent premature death for hundreds of thousands of people, according to a report issued Thursday by the Institute of Medicine.

The report examines the public health effects of increasing the age to 19, 21, or 25. While it doesn’t make any recommendations, officials say, it provides the scientific guidance state and local governments need to evaluate policies aimed at reducing tobacco use by young people.

It also adds backing to government efforts to reduce the death and disease caused by tobacco after the 50th anniversary of the 1964 surgeon general’s report that launched the antismoking movement....

Only because tobacco-related illnesses were taking a toll on government budgets.


"Phones, other distractions a big problem for teen drivers" by Joan Lowy, Associated Press  March 26, 2015

WASHINGTON — Distractions — especially talking with passengers and using cellphones — play a far greater role in car crashes involving teen drivers than has been previously understood, according to compelling new evidence cited by safety researchers.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analyzed nearly 1,700 videos that capture the actions of teen drivers in the moments before a crash. It found that distractions were a factor in nearly 6 of 10 moderate to severe crashes. That’s four times the rate in many previous official estimates that were based on police reports.

The study is unusual because researchers rarely have access to crash videos that clearly show what drivers were doing in the seconds before impact as well as what was happening on the road. AAA was able to examine more than 6,842 videos from cameras mounted in vehicles, showing both the driver and the simultaneous view out the windshield.

The foundation got the videos from Lytx Inc., which offers programs that use video to coach drivers in improving their behavior and reducing collisions. Crashes or hard-braking events were captured in 1,691 of the videos.

They show driver distraction was a factor in 58 percent of crashes, especially accidents in which vehicles ran off the road or had rear-end collisions. The most common forms of distraction were talking or otherwise engaging with passengers and using a cellphone, including talking, texting, and reviewing messages.

Other forms of distraction observed in the videos included drivers looking away from the road at something inside the vehicle, 10 percent; looking at something outside the vehicle other than the road ahead, 9 percent; singing or moving to music, 8 percent; grooming, 6 percent; and reaching for an object, 6 percent.


Good thing the kids are getting off the road.