We’re a group of students called the Inventioneers who are both inventors and social entrepreneurs! We have formed a non-profit organization to help other students around the country in two main ways - by inspiring teen drivers to develop safe driving habits through our innovative ideas, and to help get kids of all ages excited about science.
In 2009, 5,474 people were killed in crashes involving driver distraction, and an estimated 448,000 were injured. (NHTSA)
Because people are all under the misconception that humans are competent multitaskers, distractions will always tempt drivers. We say "misconception" because research now shows that humans are really "serial taskers", meaning that we concentrate on one task at a time and switch quickly between tasks. We are not concentrating on multiple tasks - just one.
Human beings feel a bit invincible - teens especially. That's why resisting distractions will always be a challenge for drivers.
Teen drivers are more likely than other age groups to be
involved in a fatal crash where distraction is reported. In 2009, 16% of teen
drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported to have been distracted.
Here's one more sobering statistic:
40% of all American teens say they have been in a car when
the driver used a cell phone in a way that put people in danger. (Pew)
We need to start a campaign that empowers kids (and adults) to speak up when they see that their driver is distracted. We should take a stand and demand that the person driving stays focused on the road. Remember, it only takes a second to change everything.