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?