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Teen Distracted Driving Epidemic Worse Than Believed

texting-driving-teensA massive amount of media attention has been paid in recent years to the dangers posed by distracted driving. Considering the fact that handheld devices and mobile phones are consistently used by just about everyone these days, it is not surprising that many motorists, particularly younger ones, are operating theirs while behind the wheel. However, a new report produced by University of Iowa researchers in conjunction with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has revealed that the hazards of distracted driving among the teenage demographic are much more dire than many suspected.

Groundbreaking report sheds light on startling statistics

Researchers in the AAA study were granted unprecedented access into vehicles driven by teen motorists, by way of cameras mounted inside their vehicles. Shots of the driver as well as the driver’s sight lines were collected to examine events and circumstances leading up to crash events. The results were jarring, with distraction playing a role in roughly 60 percent of the moderate-to-severe accidents in which the young research subjects were involved.

Of the 1,691 videos analyzed in the study, the most prevalent types of pre-crash distractions included, in order of frequency:

  • Interaction with other passengers
  • Use of cell phone
  • Focusing on something within the car
  • Focusing on something outside of the car
  • Singing or concentrating on music
  • Grooming activities
  • Reaching for an item inside the car

Problem worse than believed

Previous estimates from the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration asserted that distraction was a relevant factor in just 14 percent of automobile crashes involving teenage drivers. The nearly 60 percent figure yielded by the AAA study points to the existence of a far greater threat to teen drivers, their passengers and every other person on the open road.

The research findings underscore a need for increased driver education and awareness campaigns about the potentially catastrophic consequences of this behavior.

Despite the fact that many of the behaviors captured in the in-car videos were actually against the law, it seems that young drivers are frighteningly willing to put their own safety and that of others in serious jeopardy due to their addiction to mobile devices.

Consequences of teen distracted driving

The threat posed by drivers who allow themselves to be unnecessarily distracted by mobile devices is on the rise and without deliberate action, shows no sign of abating. Though nobody wants to be among the unfortunate victims of such negligence, the law does provide options for pursuing recourse and compensation.

Those who sustain life-altering injuries in a vehicle collision can seek payment for:

  • Medical bills
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Pain and suffering
  • Emotional distress
  • Lost wages
  • Loss of earning capacity
  • Wrongful death/final expenses

Car accident lawyers Maine residents can trust

If you or a loved one has been hurt in a crash because another driver was operating a cell phone or otherwise not paying sufficient attention to the road, a Maine distracted driver accident lawyer at Hardy, Wolf & Downing can help. We have built our careers and our reputations on the successes we regularly achieve for clients across the state. Our team stands prepared to bring our extensive negotiation and litigation resources to bear on your behalf and fight for the compensation you deserve.

For a no-cost initial consultation, contact us at 1-800-INJURED.

  1. Forbes, Teen Distracted Driving Crashes “Even Worse Than We Thought,” New Study Finds, http://www.forbes.com/sites/tanyamohn/2015/03/25/teen-distracted-driving-crashes-even-worse-than-we-thought-new-study-finds/
  2. Fox 13 Salt Lake City, Footage from distracted driving study shows what teens were doing as crash occurred, http://fox13now.com/2015/03/25/aaa-puts-cameras-in-cars-to-study-dangers-of-distracted-driving-among-teens/
  3. National Safety Council, Cell Phone Crash Data, http://www.nsc.org/safety_road/Distracted_Driving/Pages/Cell-Phone-Crash-Data.aspx
  4. Distraction.gov, What is Distracted Driving? http://www.distraction.gov/content/get-the-facts/facts-and-statistics.html