ADEPT Driver Encourages Californians to Focus on Safe Driving During National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and Teen Safe Driving Week

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CA Teen Safe Driving Week Kicks Off Distracted Driving Awareness Month

ELK GROVE, CA--April 3, 2013:  ADEPT Driver, a California company that develops proven crash reduction programs, called on all drivers to observe National Distracted Driving Awareness Month by putting away phones, food, iPods and other diversions that can distract from safe driving.

"While it may be tempting to reach for your smartphone, eat, or do other activities while driving, multitasking while behind the wheel is not safe," said Dr. Richard Harkness, a traffic safety expert and CEO of ADEPT Driver. "No phone call, text, snack, or song is more important than your life and safety, and the lives of your passengers and others. National Distracted Driving Awareness Month is an excellent reminder to all of us to put away things that could distract us before we get behind the wheel. Parents need to model this safe behavior for children watching from the back seat and for teens that are just getting used to driving."

The month of April is National Distracted Driving Awareness Month and the first week of April is Teen Safe Driving Week in California. The need for increased safety awareness is great.

The Governors Highway Safety Association recently released a report that indicates deaths of 16- and 17-year-old drivers were up 19 percent between the first six months of 2011 and the first six months of 2012.  Distracted driving is one of the prime suspects for the increase in teen driver fatalities.

The number of teens talking on a cell phone, texting, emailing or engaged in social media while driving has skyrocketed in the last few years. According to a recent study, 54 percent of teens admit to illegally talking on a hand-held cell phone while driving, and 30 percent admit to reading a text or email every time they get behind the wheel. Research has shown that texting while driving elevates the crash risk by as much as 23 times, and can be five times more risky than drunk driving.

In 2011 over 390,000 people were killed or injured by distracted driving.

"These sad statistics are a reminder that we need this double dose of driver safety awareness," Dr. Harkness continued. "teenSMART and Lifelong Driver help teach teen drivers and mature drivers how to improve their driving skills and avoid crashes. There are many other excellent resources, including the National Safety Council."  

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