News to know: Teens, distracted driving and technology

Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. Metro News Service photo
Caption
Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous forms of distracted driving. Metro News Service photo

Teens and distracted driving

According to the World Health Organization, males are more likely to be involved in road traffic crashes than females. The WHO notes that 73% of all road traffic deaths occur among young males under the age of 25. In addition, male drivers under the age of 25 are nearly three times as likely to be killed in road traffic crashes as female drivers under 25. The WHO acknowledges that various factors can increase drivers’ risk of being involved in road traffic crashes, and distracted driving may be one of the biggest threats facing today’s young drivers. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute notes that, in 2017, 40% of high school students reported texting or emailing while driving in the 30 days prior to being surveyed. Parents also may unknowingly contribute to teens’ distracted driving, as the CHPRI notes that teen drivers receive more calls from their parents while driving than any other group of motorists.

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Drivers want new technology

Modern cars are technological marvels, and it turns out drivers may value tech over all else, including their choice of automaker. A 2017 study from Autotrader asked 1,000 participants an assortment of questions about technology and car buying. Roughly 60% of millennial car shoppers and more than 40% of baby boomers indicated they would switch vehicle brands just to get the technology features they want. Drivers are even willing to pay extra for their preferred tech. The Autotrader study found that the average shopper would pay an extra $2,276 to get the right tech features.

Drivers delaying vehicle maintenance

Many drivers recognize the importance of vehicle maintenance, but a significant percentage of drivers are putting off taking timely care of their cars and trucks. IMR Inc. surveys 25,000 households each quarter, asking participants how they have serviced and maintained their vehicles. In the first quarter of 2020, much of which occurred prior to the declaration of a global pandemic, nearly 18 percent of respondents indicated they had delayed vehicle repairs or maintenance. IMR classified “delayed maintenance” as repairs and maintenance that vehicle owners intentionally put off despite knowing the vehicles needed them. That conscious decision to delay maintenance and repairs could prove costly in the long run, as adhering to a routine maintenance schedule is a great way to ensure cars stay on the road longer. In addition, adhering to manufacturer-recommended maintenance schedules is a great way to discover minor issues before they escalate into larger, more costly concerns.

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