Teen drivers often engage in risky driving behaviors such as not wearing their seatbelts, drunk driving, and distracted driving. A new research study by Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Center for Injury Research and Policy concludes one of the most common risky driving behaviors of teen drivers is texting while driving.
Texting while driving is one of the most dangerous types of driving distraction. When a teen texts and drives, they can experience visual distraction when they take their eyes off the road, manual distraction when they take their hands off the steering wheel, and cognitive distraction when they focus on an activity other than driving. Cell phone use is routinely a contributing cause of over 25 percent of car accidents. Distracted driving leads to at least nine deaths per day in the United States. In 2015, texting while driving was the leading of cause of car accident fatalities in teens.
Distracted Driving a Continuing Problem
Despite the known dangers of texting and driving, the study found almost 40 percent of teen drivers continue to text while driving. According to the study, the earlier teens start to drive, the earlier they engage in distracted driving behaviors. Teens are most likely to text and drive in those states where they can get their learner’s permit earlier and states with the highest percentage of student drivers. The number of instances of texting and driving increases significantly when a teen can legally begin unsupervised driving.
For many teens who text hundreds of messages a day on their cell phones, it may be hard to understand the inherent risks involved in sending a text while driving. Although it can take only moments to send or read a text message, those seconds can be deadly. In just five seconds a car traveling at 55 miles per hour will have traveled the length of a football field. As a result of taking one’s eyes off of the road for even this brief period time, a catastrophic car accident can occur.
Many states have made it illegal for teens to use handheld electronic devices behind the wheel. Other states have put in place strict penalties for texting while driving including large fines, suspension of drivers’ licenses, increases in automobile insurance rates and even jail sentences. For many teen drivers, the consequences of being involved in a texting and driving accident can be as serious as those for driving while under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
Parents Can Help Stop Teens From Texting Behind the Wheel
To help your teen driver fight the urge to text while driving, parents can install cell phone applications designed to reduce distracted driving behaviors. Some apps send parents notifications regarding their teen driver’s driving history. Other apps can block incoming texts and calls while a teen is driving. Many families also encourage their teen drivers to take the pledge to end distracted driving. Teen drivers should be reminded driving with anyone who texts and drives is an unsafe choice. Remind your teen they should never be in the car with a friend who texts and drives.
Columbia Car Accident Lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. Fight for Those Injured in Distracted Driving Wrecks
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident, compensation for these car accident injuries may be available. The experienced Columbia car accident lawyers at Chappell Smith & Arden, P.A. are here to help. To speak with a qualified personal injury lawyer in South Carolina today, call us 803-929-3600 or 866-881-8623 or contact us online.
We represent injured accident victims in Columbia, Aiken, Camden, Sumter, Orangeburg, Greenville, Florence, Beaufort, Irmo, Spartanburg, Myrtle Beach, Hilton Head Island, West Columbia, Rock Hill, Charleston, Lexington, Winnsboro, Summerville, and throughout the counties of Lexington County, Richland County, Sumter County, Charleston County, Aiken County, Florence County, Lancaster County, York County, Spartanburg County, Orangeburg County, Kershaw County, Newberry County and across South Carolina.