• Enter your email address to receive notifications of new Safe Kids New Jersey posts.

    Join 64 other followers

  • Photos

One in Six Drivers in a School Zone Acts Like a Drunk Driver

The public expects drivers to be on their best behavior when they are near schools, but a new study shows the opposite is true when it comes to distracted driving. 

Distracted%20Drivers%20Web2As kids head back to school, new research from Safe Kids USA shows that one out of every six drivers in school zones is distracted by the use of cell phones, eating, drinking, smoking, reaching behind, grooming and reading.

 

The study Characteristics of Distracted Drivers in School Zones: A National Report also found that unbelted drivers are 34 percent more likely to be distracted than belted drivers, afternoon drivers are 22 percent more likely to be distracted than morning drivers, and females are 21 percent more likely to be distracted than males. 

The study consisted of more than 40,000 observational road-side surveys conducted by local Safe Kids researchers in 20 locations across the United States. Use of electronics (such as cell phones, PDAs and Smartphones) was the leading category of distraction while driving at 9.8 percent. This is a 2.5 percent increase over a 2008 National Highway Traffic Safety Administration survey that showed a rate of 7.3 percent. 

With recent research demonstrating that the driving skills of a distracted driver are as bad as or worse than an intoxicated driver, the overall relevance of this study is clear. Almost one in six drivers in a school zone behaves like a drunk driver.  Multitasking while driving can have deadly consequences.  Drivers need to shut off their phones and pay attention to the road, especially in areas that are filled with children.

The national finding that afternoon drivers are 22 percent more likely to be distracted is significant because throughout the year one in three child pedestrian deaths occur between 3 and 7 p.m., making afternoons the most dangerous time for children to walk. Drivers who were not wearing a seat belt were the most likely group in the study to also be driving distracted, meaning drivers engaging in one risky behavior are more likely to engage in multiple unsafe driving behaviors.

For more information about the new report on distracted drivers, tips for drivers and pedestrians or background on the Walk This Way program, call 202-662-0600 or visit www.usa.safekids.org/wtw/.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: