Say “Goodbye” to Distracted Driving During National Teen Driver Safety Week
Let’s talk about something important – cell phones and driving. When they mix, it can be a recipe for disaster.
So, what’s the deal? Well, it’s all about distracted driving, and it’s a big problem, especially for new teen drivers. Did you know that every day, nine people in the United States lose their lives because of distracted driving? That’s nine too many, and the truth is, it’s totally preventable.
First things first, what is distracted driving? It’s when you’re not fully focused on the road because you’re doing something else – like texting, checking social media, or even chatting on the phone. It might not seem like a big deal, but it can have dangerous consequences.
Picture this: you’re driving with your friends, blasting your favorite music, and your phone buzzes with a notification. You think, “I’ll just take a quick peek.” But in that second, your eyes leave the road, and everything can change in an instant.
Texting or using your phone while driving is like driving with your eyes closed for a few seconds. Imagine doing that at 60 miles per hour – not a great idea, right? When distracted, your reaction time is slower, and you’re way more likely to crash.
National Teen Driver Safety Week
During National Teen Driver Safety Week on October 15 – 21, organizations come together to create awareness and educate teens on the importance of safe driving. According to the AAA Foundation for Safety, distraction plays a role in nearly six out of 10 teen crashes. The top distractions for teens include talking to other passengers in the vehicle and interacting with a smartphone.
During Teen Driver Safety Week, there will be a five-part online webinar series that you can watch to learn from experts on how to best prepare for a safe driving experience.
Each webinar will be released at 7 a.m. EST each morning on the respective dates (October 17-20) on the Florida Teen Safe Driving Coalition Resource Hub.
Webinar Dates & Topics:
10/17/23: Steer Clear: Navigating Distraction-Free Roads for Teen Drivers & Empowering Parents
10/18/23: Mind Over Miles: Exploring How Mental Health Impacts Safe Driving
10/19/23: Fast & Fatal: Discussing the Dangers of Speed Racing & Destructive Driving
10/20/23: Road Ready: Breakdowns, Maintenance, Traffic Stops, and Emergencies
You can learn more about each webinar on the TDSW Resource Hub.
Put Down the Phone
What can you do about it? Well, it’s simple – put down the phone when you’re behind the wheel. Make a rule for yourself and your friends: no texting or using your phone while driving, no matter what. If it’s that urgent, pull over safely to the side of the road to deal with it. Your life and the lives of others are worth it.
Check out the distracted driving quiz from the National Safety Council Driver Safety Training to see if you’ve got what it takes to drive safely and distraction-free.
FLVS Driver Ed Puts You in the Driver Seat
Ready to say goodbye to distracted driving? Enroll in our Driver Education online course. This course emphasizes a concept called “Fitness to Drive,” which helps you reflect on if you’re ready to drive.
“Our course emphasizes that no part of driving is safe, but there are strategies all drivers can take to reduce their risk. Being physically, mentally, and emotionally ready to drive allows you to focus on the driving task. Properly storing your phone is just one of many risk-reducing strategies students learn in the FLVS Driver Education Course,” said Derek Stewart, FLVS Driver Education Coordinator.
Visit our FLVS Driver Education page to learn how to enroll in the digital course for lessons and simulated driving activities to gain real-world driving knowledge.
Upon successful completion of our Driver Education course, you’ll earn the required TLSAE certificate (commonly called a drug and alcohol certificate). Additionally, minors age 15 and older can take the licensing exam (Class E Knowledge Exam) online for FREE.
Teen Driving Club
Ready to learn how to drive safely? Consider joining the FLVS Teen Driving Club! Students work together to help other teens learn the skills and attitudes that exemplify a smart driver and passenger. Plus, club members talk about all things driving–because driving can be fun too!
Any FLVS Student can join the Teen Driving Club. You don’t need to be enrolled in the Driver Education course to join. You can be a FLVS Flex student or a Full Time Public School student. Learn more about the club and send in your application today.
Stay Focused, Stay Safe
Remember, you’ve got your whole life ahead of you, and there’s no text or notification that’s worth risking it for. Help keep our roads safe by being a responsible driver. Distracted driving might be a big problem, but you can be part of the solution. Stay safe out there!
And remember to keep your eyes on the road, keep your mind on driving, and keep your hands on the wheel. For more reading on distracted driving, check out the National Highway Traffic Safety Association.
Happy (and safe) driving!