Distracted driving is a significant problem in the United States. Every day, drivers take their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel to text, talk on the phone, or eat. This can lead to severe accidents and fatalities.
In this blog, we will be looking at how teen drivers are disproportionately represented in car crashes caused by distracted driving. We will also identify some of the top causes of distracted driving among young drivers.
Teens and Distracted Driving
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), motor vehicle crashes are one of the leading causes of death for teens in the United States. In 2019, there were nearly 2,400 deaths of teen drivers aged 16-19.
Distracted driving is a major factor in these crashes. The CDC reports that distracted driving was a factor in 58% of teen crashes in 2016. This is a significantly higher percentage than the overall population, where distracted driving was a factor in 14% of crashes.
The CDC defines distracted driving as any activity that takes a driver’s attention away from the road. This can include texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, playing with the car radio, or even daydreaming.
It is important to note that hands-free devices are not necessarily safe. A driver can still be distracted even if they use a hands-free device to talk or text. The best way to avoid distracted driving is to put away all electronic devices and focus on the road.
Types of Distractions
Many types of distractions can lead to accidents. These include texting, talking on the phone, eating, drinking, talking to passengers, fiddling with the radio, and looking at something outside of the car. Of these, texting is the most dangerous because it requires drivers to take their eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel.
In a study of teen crashes, researchers found that texting was a factor in 27%. Sending and reading texts is one of the most common forms of distracted driving. Even though it only takes a few seconds to send or read a text, those few seconds can be very dangerous.
This was followed by talking on the phone (12%), talking to passengers (11%), and then other distractions like eating or drinking (11%).
There are many causes of distracted driving, but some are more common than others. Here are two more common causes of distracted driving:
Rubbernecking: Rubbernecking is when drivers slow down to look at something that has happened on the side of the road. This can cause traffic jams and accidents.
Daydreaming: Daydreaming is another common form of distracted driving. When drivers are not paying attention to the road, they can easily miss something important.
Distracted driving is a serious problem, and it is crucial to be aware of the causes. Pay attention to the road and avoid these distractions if you are driving.
Preventing Distracted Driving
So what can be done to prevent distracted driving? The CDC recommends a few things:
- Teens should get at least 60 minutes of physical activity each day to help reduce stress and fatigue.
- Parents should set rules about phone use while driving and enforce them.
- Teens should avoid driving at night or in bad weather whenever possible.
- Teens should not drive while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.
If you are a parent, talk to your teen about the dangers of distracted driving. Help them to understand how it can impact their safety and the safety of others on the road.
If you are a teen, make sure to follow the CDC recommendations. And always remember to pay attention to the road when you are driving.
If you have been injured in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, contact The Payne Law Group team today at (979) 300-7406 for a free consultation. We may be able to help you get compensation for your injuries.