CENTRAL NEW YORK (WSYR-TV) — Distracted driving can quickly turn deadly. We’re currently in the ‘100 Deadliest Days of Summer’, which is the dangerous period for drivers between Memorial Day and Labor Day.
The Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office is reminding teen drivers to keep their eyes on the road, as being distracted for even a couple of seconds can have deadly consequences.
“Typically on average Onondaga County will see 3-5 kids killed in an automobile-related accident,” said Sgt. Jon Seeber from the Onondaga County Sheriff’s Office.
The number of crashes that happen in one year with teens behind the wheel is around 1,500 and Sgt. Seeber said out of that number, about 400 to 500 get injured.
The others involved in the accident become the victims. This past June, a 15-year-old boy from Central Square was killed in a crash involving three other teens and a 20-year-old driver. The 15-year-old was riding in the front passenger seat. He was pronounced dead at the scene after the driver lost control on Henry Clay Boulevard.
The sheriff’s office says the driver in this accident was speeding, but distracted driving is usually the lead cause.
According to Sgt. Seeber, distracted driving includes using a cell phone, loud music, a group of friends in the car, or anything that takes someone’s concentration off the road.
Sending and receiving text messages takes the driver’s eyes off the road for about five seconds.
“During that five seconds, that 55 miles an hour, that’s equivalent to the length of a football field, so a lot can happen,” says Seeber.
Parents can play an important role when their teens start to drive on their own. It never hurts to talk to your kids about the dangers of distracted driving.