(WSYR-TV) — The number of people killed on U.S. roads and highways last year is the highest it has been in 14 years, according to the National Safety Council.
More than 40,000 people in total, and 10,000 of them dying in crashes in which distracted driving was a factor.
April is National Distracted Driving Awareness month. The National Road Safety Foundation says education and intervention can help limit distracted driving.
The risk of distraction is especially high for teen drivers. Nine percent of drivers ages 15 to 19 involved in 2019 fatal crashes were reported as distracted.
“(Teens) are absolutely more of a liability (for distracted driving). There are a number of reasons for this. One, is inexperience. They are very new to the road,” said Michelle Anderson of the National Road Safety Foundation.
Anderson added that technology is another leading factor of distraction for teens behind the wheel.
“They have that fear of missing out. We’ve all heard of FOMO before. When they hear that chime coming in, they want to answer it.”
Another contributing factor Anderson says, teens brains are still developing.
To learn more about distracted drive, you can visit NRSF.org.