To solve the problem of distracted driving car accidents in Dayton, it would help if we knew who is driving while distracted the most. You have to know your audience before you can figure out the best way to change their dangerous driving habits.
Of course, Ohioans of all ages, genders and ethnicities commit distracted driving. We see them all the time as their vehicle hurtles down the highway or street, staring at the glow of their cellphone instead of watching the road as they should. But statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggest that teenagers might be the worst offending segment of the American driving public.
Young drivers stand out in distracted driving crashes
According to 2019 data from the CDC, drivers aged 15-20 made up 9 percent of distracted drivers who were involved in fatal car accidents. That was the highest percentage of any age group, which ranged from 21-24 to 75-plus. No other age group made up more than 7 percent of the total.
Drilling down even further, the CDC found that older teens were more likely to drive while distracted. In a survey, 60 percent of teens 18 or older admitted texting or emailing while driving at least once in the previous 30 days. For 17-year-olds, 51 percent said the same thing. The number dropped substantially among 16-year-olds, only 31 percent of whom said they had been distracted while driving in the past month.
Bad driving habits learned young put us all in danger
These numbers are especially disturbing when you consider that most of us learn to drive when we are 15-18. The habits we learn then can stay with us for the rest of our driving careers. Bad habits like cellphone use behind the wheel, if not fixed early, can lead to decades of dangerous situations and potentially deadly collisions.