Consumer Reports has built its longstanding, well-respected reputation as a public watchdog against bad products by offering its readers expert reviews of all sorts of things: appliances, cars, toys, sunscreen. If there is something sold in the American marketplace today, odds are high that Consumer Reports can provide guidance on how well that product works as well as how safe it is to use.
However, today Consumer Reports has gone further than providing expert reviews. Today, on both the Consumer Reports website as well as the federal government’s site for the Department of Transportation, you will see videos and other information regarding the danger of texting or talking while driving a moving vehicle.
They’ve been moved to act because the dangers of Distracted Driving, particularly among American teenagers, is causing a significant number of young people to be seriously injured or killed in accidents that could have been avoided if a handheld device had not been along for the ride.
As reported by the DOT, a new report by the experts at Consumer Reports has revealed the following:
- 63 percent of respondents under 30 years old reported using a handheld phone while driving in the past 30 days, and 30 percent of them texted while driving during the same period. That compares with 41 percent and 9 percent, respectively, of respondents who were 30 or older.
- Among the under-30 respondents, only 36 percent were very concerned about the problem of distracted driving, and only 30 percent felt it was very dangerous to use a handheld phone.
- 64 percent of respondents overall said they had seen other drivers texting using a handheld device in the past 30 days. 94 percent had observed drivers talking on a mobile phone and 58 percent had seen a dangerous driving situation related to a distracted driver in the past month.
- 78 percent of respondents overall said they had reduced or stopped behaviors related to distracted driving. Of that group, 66 percent said they did so because of reading or hearing about the dangers.
Copies of the Consumer Reports/DOT report “Distracted Driving Shatters Lives” will be distributed to schools and volunteer groups by the National School Safety Coalition.
In tandem with the Consumer Reports efforts, DOT has released its latest video in the Department of Transportation’s “Faces of Distracted Driving” series today on Distraction.gov, featuring Miss South Dakota Loren Vaillancourt, who has been speaking to teens about the dangers of distracted driving since her brother was killed by a distracted driver in May 2009. Watch it here on YouTube.