As reported recently by CNN, am AAA study examining crashed over seven years found that distracted driving by teens was far higher than previously thought. The research put cameras on the dash and hood of cars driven by teens to document behavior. Previous statistics reported that distracted driving played a part in only about 14 percent of crashed reported to the police. The AAA study discovered that almost six out of ten of teen crashes were due to distracted driving.
Distracted driving in teens is often attributed to cell phone use, such as talking and texting, and many states have laws making such behaviors illegal. While the phone was indeed one of the top two causes of distracted driving that the study uncovered, the second was having friends in the car. Teens have not learned to balance conversation and driving, and may turn to friends to talk. When doing so, they don’t take into account traffic conditions or how such movements can shift focus from the road or affect the steering of the car.
AAA hopes that states will use the results of the study to determine how to change laws to protect teens from distracted driving. In the meantime, talk to your teen about this research. You may already trust him or her not to use the cellphone while driving. But point out that he or she must be extra careful when driving a friend because of the distraction it may cause.
If your teen gets into a car crash because he or she, a friend, or someone in another car was driving with a distraction, please contact us. As your auto accident attorney, we’ll fight for your right to compensation from insurance companies or the other party.