We all know that feeling of frustration when we look at the driver next to us on a busy highway and see that they’re looking down at their phone while operating a motor vehicle. Maybe you’re even guilty of driving while distracted by your phone.
As more and more states are passing laws against distracted driving, you may find yourself in a lot of trouble if you’re caught driving while looking at your phone even if you weren’t texting. New laws include other activities on the phone rather than just texting.
When teen drivers use their cell phones while driving, the result is even more likely to be deadly because young drivers are already limited by their lack of experience behind the wheel. For that reason, when a teen driver is distracted by a phone, catastrophe is even more likely.
Teen car accidents due to distracted driving are on the rise. If you’re a teen driver or the parent of a teen driver, you need to know that one bad decision, one brief glance down at a cell phone, can result in a collision that may change a life forever, or it may even take someone’s life. The most tragic fact of teen car accidents due to distracted driving is that they are entirely avoidable; all we have to do is wait until we reach our destination before checking our phone.
Disturbing Statistics of Teen Distracted Driving
According to a poll recently conducted by the American Automobile Association (AAA), 94 % of teen drivers acknowledge the dangers of texting and driving, but 35% admitted to doing it anyway, and 21% of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents in 2017 were distracted by their cell phones.
Also, each year about 421,000 people are injured in car accidents that involve a driver who was distracted in some way, and of that number, 330,000 of those accidents a driver was texting at the time of the accident, which means that 78% of all distracted drivers are distracted because they have been texting while driving. But texting is not the only behavior that is distracting teen drivers. There are basically three types of driving distractions:
- Manual distractions: Anything that takes your hands off the wheel of your feet off the pedals
- Cognitive distractions: Anything that takes your mind off driving
- Visual distractions: Anything that takes your eyes off the road
Even though cell phone use is the primary cause of distracted driving, there are many other ways teenagers can be distracted while driving including:
- Passengers in the car
- Using GPS
- Adjusting the radio
- Applying makeup
Because teen drivers are more likely to speed than adult drivers and less likely to wear their seatbelts, the chances of your teen being involved in a serious car accident are high.
While some vehicles and phones are equipped with technology that allow parents to monitor their children’s behavior while they’re driving, most parents don’t have the luxury of knowing what their teens are doing once they get behind the wheel of the car. By modeling good driving behavior and setting driving rules for teens, you can teach them how to drive safely and what to avoid while operating a motor vehicle.
If you or a loved one has been injured or killed by a distracted teen driver, you may have a valid personal injury claim. Please contact an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney and schedule a free consultation today.