Distracted Driving is Taking Its Toll on Young Drivers

  • Distracted driving is being involved in any activity that takes the driver's attention from the most important task at hand, safely driving a vehicle. Along with cellphone use, common forms of distracted driving include eating while behind the wheel, grooming and putting on make-up, looking up directions on a GPS device and even tending to young children while driving.

     

    One of the most susceptible groups to the dangers of distracted driving is teenage drivers. Why are teenagers so inclined to be involved in distracted driving? What type of activity are they involved in? How does teenage distracted driving impact you and what can you do about it? Some of the answers may surprise you.

     

    Why Teenagers are at High Risk

     

    Teen drivers have less driving experience, to begin with. Adding any distractions magnify this inexperience. Teen drivers are also prone to take more risks behind the wheel. They often don't fully understand their limits, the limits of the vehicle they are driving or the ramifications of their behavior. They are often in driving situations with others in or near their age group, and there may be peer pressure.

     

    It is human nature that much of our learning comes from the mistakes we make. Unfortunately, the mistake of driving while distracted can have serious and even tragic consequences.

     

    What is Distracting Teen Drivers?

     

    A report conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety yields some surprising insights. While most may assume that the main cause of distracted driving for teens is the use of smartphones, the most common cause is actually interactions with and distractions caused by passengers. These can include animated conversations and movements in the vehicle, loud music, and sharing of information passengers are finding on smartphones.

     

    The AAA report indicates that these passenger-involved activities account for 15% of teens' distracted driving accidents. It is followed by texting, the cause of 12% of distracted driving accidents involving teens.

     

    To better understand the problem of distracted driving with teens is to understand the problematic combination of passenger distractions and the use of mobile devices.

     

    The Impact Teen Distracted Driving Can Have on You

     

    Even if you do not have a teen driver in your family, teen distracted driving can have a direct impact on you. The AAA reports that teen drivers have the highest rate of car crashes in the country. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) statistics show that 10% of teens in fatal accidents were involved in distracted driving. This places not only them but you and your family at risk.

     

    Even if you manage to avoid a direct encounter with a distracted teen driver, it is likely your auto insurance rates are affected by the resulting damage they cause.

     

    What Can You Do About Distracted Teen Driving?

     

    You can help minimize teen distracted driving by supporting distracted driving initiatives, especially those targeted to inexperienced teen-aged drivers. You can improve your awareness and defensive driving skills. If you have a teen driver, the AAA suggests you take the following steps:

     

    • Discuss all the forms of distracted driving with teens early and often.
    • Set an example for your teen drivers by eliminating your own distracted driving habits.
    • Set up an agreement with your teen detailing driving rules to prevent distracted driving.

     

    What To Do If You've Been Involved in an Accident Involving a Distracted Driver

     

    We encourage you to contact us if you've been involved in an accident potentially caused by a distracted driver. We are not only experienced in personal injury accidents but can use our experience and resources to determine the cause of an accident, including cellphone records, police reports, and even automobile “black-box” data. Get the legal representation you deserve.