Tonight may be Halloween, but for many officers of the law, the spookiest thing they’re going to see on the roads is a teenager who decides to focus more on their phone than on the road around them. Distracted driving has grown to become the defining safety topic of this era, and getting young drivers to respect the threat that it poses is essential.
National Teen Driver Safety Week was held a couple weeks ago, and helping spread a message of awareness were Mercedes-Benz, Impact Teen Drivers, and law enforcement agencies like the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles Police Department. A report from the Los Angeles Daily News took a look at their efforts, which recently took shape at one local high school.
At that event and others like it, teenage participants got to take part in a driving course that had been erected in the parking lot of their school. Teens were first tasked with navigating the course without distraction. With that complete, they were asked to do the same course while submitting to numerous distractions, cellphone usage being the most obvious. Unsurprisingly, their scores dropped dramatically.
A member of the LAPD was on hand to ask parents to do their part to help teens understand the challenges of the road. The Mercedes-Benz Driving Academy’s director notes that, while California law requires teens to submit to 50 hours of practice at the wheel before they get their full license, a somewhat shocking 15% of teens are all that actually meet this requirement.