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Thank you for visiting Grandma's Briefs, where I write on the good, bad, humorous and heartwarming of being a baby boomer, grandparent, parent to adult children, wife and writer. Peruse the place, leave a comment or two, and feel free to email me any time at

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    What I learned this week: Stats that matter

    car accident

    Like most bloggers, I spend an inordinate amount of time considering the stats related to Grandma's Briefs — how many comments, unique visitors, page views, followers, friends, so on and so forth. Such stats matter greatly to me as a blogger.

    This week I learned all kinds of other stats that matter greatly to me as a grandmother, mother, wife, daughter — someone with too much to lose to not take notice, not be concerned, not share with others what I've learned.

    Here is just a smidgen of wide-ranging and crucial stats I gleaned from the Lifesavers 2013 National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities, in hopes that you, too, will take notice, be concerned and share with others:

    • In the United States, we drive, as a whole, 3 trillion miles per year.

    • 35,000 people die because of car crashes each year. (It's the leading cause of accidental death.)

    • You're four times more likely to crash when using a cell phone while driving, whether hands-free phone or not.

    • Twenty-five percent of all crashes involve cell phones (talking or texting).

    • There's a 23 times greater crash risk when texting while driving.

    • There were 2.3 trillion text messages sent in 2011.

    • Forty-nine percent of adults text while driving.

    • Seventy-seven percent of teens report they have seen their parents text and drive.

    • Forty-three percent of teens admit to texting while driving.

    • Seventy-five percent of teen fatal crashes do not involve alcohol. 

    • A sudden stop at 30 miles per hour could cause the same crushing force on a child's brain and body as a fall from a three-story building (which is why buckling up kids is so important).

    • Most children need to use a booster seat until age 10-12 for maximum protection and improved comfort in the car.

    • Each year, 325,000 Americans are injured in drunk driving crashes (one every two minutes), and drunk driving kills 10,000 Americans each year.

    • One in five 16-year-old drivers experience a collision in their first year of driving.

    • Seniors are outliving their ability to drive safely by an average 7 to 10 years, depending on gender.

    • Car crashes are the leading cause of death for ages 5 to 24.

    • With the exception of teenagers, seniors have the highest crash death rate per mile driven, due to age-related fragility.

    • In crashes caused by vehicle maintenance factors, 90 percent can be attributed to improperly inflated tires.

    Yes, the stats are frightening. But all of that — plus a whole lot more — is what I learned this week.

    Disclosure: My attendance at the Lifesavers Conference was fully sponsored by Toyota Collaborative Safety Research Center.

    photo: stock.xchng

    Today's question:

    What did you learn this week?

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    Reader Comments (10)

    Wow...I just learned a lot from this post! The most surprising stat to me is the high percentage of accidents caused by improperly inflated tires. Really? (Note to self)

    Yesterday, I learned that I'm not the only Gma in the world who's not great with crafts. Woohoo and whew! Thank you Joan/Gramcracker :)

    April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNonnieKelly

    Wow, the statistics on texting while driving -- both adults and teens -- really shocked me. I really didn't think it was that high.

    This week I learned that Netvibes is pretty cool! Since Google has announced they are discontinuing Google Reader in July I had to find something new to use to track all my favorite blogs. So far -- I like it! But I will miss iGoogle.

    April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGrandma Kc

    What a great conference! It makes me CRAZY when I see people with children bouncing about unrestrained in their cars.

    April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGinger Kay

    I've learned that the statistics you've just quoted can scare me half to death!

    And quite a few things about NOT believing what weathermen say on TV.

    April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterAnn

    Scary but important stats, Lisa. Thanks for sharing them.

    Have a great weekend~

    April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

    NonnieKelly: Yes! The stat on tires was incredible and resonated with me so! I don't have a Tire Pressure Monitoring doodad of any sort on my vehicle, and my husband is thoroughly frustrated by my continual "did you check the tires?" question. BUT, now I have stats to back up my reasoning (and proof I'm not crazy, just concerned).

    Grandma Kc: I must say that of all the conference sessions, on all kinds of things, the most intriguing to me were the ones on distracted driving, including the whole texting thing. With 2.3 TRILLION text messages sent in 2011 (and surely more in recent years) it makes me wonder how many of those were sent from drivers. I found it so interesting the research on the fact we all know it's so very wrong to text, yet we do it anyway. Kids do, adults do, we all do. Not anymore. I think you'd be interested in one of the sites focusing on the distracted driving — including texting — issues: Incredible info.

    Ginger Kay: I agree 110% percent! How can someone consider themselves a "good" parent if they don't buckle up their most precious cargo?? Crazy! A great resource on this topic is the Buckle Up For Life initiative. Super stuff worth sharing:

    Ann & Cathy: The stats do scare the heck out of me. The conference truly opened my eyes to so much danger... yet made me realize how important we all know of the danger and spread the word. I am, in hopes none of the issues will ever affect me and mine personally, nor my friends, family, folks I know online and off. Scary stuff, but at least we all can now be more aware of how scary it is. There's power (and protection) in knowledge, I think.

    Thank you for reading, everyone!

    April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLisa @ Grandma's Briefs

    Such an important reminder Lisa. Nothing we have to say is all that important, is it?

    April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarbara

    Unbelievable stats Lisa. In New Zealand it is illegal to text & drive yet people still do it. A law was passed to also make it illegal to talk on a cell while driving unless there is a hands free device in the car.

    There are some very hard hitting TV ads about drinking & driving yet the message still is not going through to mostly young people. You didn't mentiion in your post the stats for drinking & driving among the youth. Would be interested in those.

    Learned this week that I can keep a level head when faced with a crisis even though inside I feel like I'm going to pieces.

    April 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSally Kabak

    Several of those stats were new, and thought provoking, to me but this one appalled me: Seventy-seven percent of teens report they have seen their parents text and drive. How are we going to convince them that they shouldn't do the very things they see us do!

    April 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBeth Zimmerman

    WOW! Chilling statistics, Lisa! It makes me upset to see my children using their cell phones when driving.. No one feels it can happen to them, but all it takes is second distraction. I'm glad you went to this conference and brought back these statistics so we can pass them on and be more aware!

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