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Teen drivers and distracted driving

Drivers of all ages pose and face all types of risks on the roadways in West Virginia and other states across the nation. While any driver could be the cause of a distracted driving accident, there are often more concerns regarding teen drivers. When new or inexperienced drivers gets behind the wheel of a vehicle, they may not fully understand the dangers that even small distractions pose. Because of this, it is important to highlight the dangers that distractions pose to all drivers, especially teen drivers.

While distractions can negatively influence any driver, teen drivers are more impressionable when it comes to distractions. This is related to their inexperience behind the wheel and the likelihood of being more compelled to talk on their phone, text and drive and chat with passengers in the vehicle.

According to a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, roughly 1,700 videos taken from inside crash vehicles were analyzed. The purpose of this analysis was to obtain a better understanding of the moments leading up to a car accident. The results indicated that teen drivers are distracted at a much greater percentage of accidents.

The study found that in about 58 percent of crashes, all forms of distraction were a factor. Additionally, in roughly 89 percent of the crashes analyzed, vehicles left the road due to distractions. Also, the study found that 76 percent of the crashes involved a rear-end collision caused by distractions. The top distraction indicated in this study was driver interactions with passengers in the vehicle, which occurred in about 15 percent of the crashes. This was followed by using a cellphone to talk, text or read the screen, which occurred in 12 percent of the crashes.

No matter the age of the driver or how many years of driving experience a motorist has, distracted driving is a serious issue on the roadways. It could easily be the cause of a serious or even fatal accident. If an investigation indicates that a distracted driver was the cause of the crash, those harmed in the incident could seek to hold that driver responsible. A civil action could also help the injured victim recover compensation for injuries, damages and other losses.

Source: Los Angeles Times, "Teen drivers distracted by cellphones, talking in most crashes," Michael Muskal, March 27, 2015

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