Using the phone while driving is the main distraction for young drivers
Thousands of traffic accidents every year are caused by distracted driving. Especially texting and driving. Teenagers are the most affected group in this respect.
In general, messaging while driving generates more than one and a half million accidents per year. Of these incidents, more than 300,000 resulted in injuries. In other words, one out of every four traffic accidents in the country is caused by cell phone use, 25% of the total. The estimated average number of drivers who use their phones at any time of the day exceeds 600,000. Although smartphones have provided us with many benefits, the negative consequences of their use behind the wheel can be devastating.
While the numbers involving texting and driving are alarming across the population, the statistics are even worse for teen drivers.
The CDC indicates that car crashes are the number one cause of teen deaths. In fact, more than 2,000 young people died in car crashes in 2019. The main reasons for these fatalities, however, are entirely preventable. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teen deaths in 2018 due to distracted driving were 9%. Of this number, 7% of drivers ages 15 to 19 who died were using their cell phones.
As troubling as it sounds, every day there are more than 7,500 people injured in crashes in the United States. Of these incidents, 99 ends in fatalities. Also disturbing is the number of young drivers who die: up to 11 per day. The reason? Teens texting and driving.
Cell Phone Use in the Car: Teens 23 Times More Likely to Have an Accident
The lack of experience in younger people makes them more likely to be involved in a car crash. This issue is greatly exacerbated when they use the phone.
Data shows that texting and driving are more lethal factors than driving under the influence of alcohol. Research has shown that teens texting and driving increases the odds of having a car crash by 23 times.
According to the survey conducted by the American Automobile Association, 94% of teens are aware of the dangers of using a cell phone behind the wheel. However, 43% admit to doing so. According to several studies, teens texting and driving causes them to spend 10% of their time circulating out of their lane.
As a result of these disturbing numbers, 48 states have now banned adults and teens from messaging in the car, according to the Governors of Highway Safety Association.
Teaching young drivers good habits provides many benefits. That is the conclusion reached by the National Library of Medicine following research at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. The study shows that adolescents who are truly aware of the dangers of texting and driving avoid this habit. Specifically, they know that it improves attention span, they are less likely to have an accident, and they respect the law.
Possible Consequences of Teens Texting and Driving
Despite the fact that nowadays the world is full of multiple distractions, our smartphones are the object that most negatively affects us when we are driving. Especially if they are in the hands of teenagers, since they are more easily distracted. Among the possible consequences and effects, the following stand out:
- It reduces the ability to pay attention to traffic and underestimates safe driving. When distracted, the ability to respond to any obstacle or inconvenience on the road is limited. Likewise, vehicle safety rules, such as wearing seat belts, are underestimated. If this were the case, the chances of suffering a fatal traffic accident would be very high.
- Driving license suspension. Depending on the seriousness of the situation and the number of violations committed, the driver’s license can be lost for more than six months.
- Increased car insurance rates. Adults and teens texting and driving is classified as distracted driving behavior. Insurers list this type of conduct as dangerous and reckless. Depending on the state and the law, as well as the severity of the accident, the monthly premium can increase considerably. The biggest problem is that these rates will be a drag for many years, as insurance companies are slow to lower the premium.
- Risk of serious injury or even death.
What Reasons Lead Teens to Text and Drive?
We look at our phones an estimated 300 times a day. That is, once every 4 minutes. Social networking, texting, taking pictures, calling, or checking the time are just some of the reasons we check our cells.
Today’s younger people, not surprisingly, tend to reach for their phones more frequently. Teenagers, in the prime of their lives, are constantly looking for stimulation, so they often check their cell phones.
Some of the most common reasons why teens are texting and driving are as follows:
- Communicating with parents. Several studies have shown that many of the times teenagers text in the car to respond quickly to their parents.
- Online flirting. Social networking has led to youth often using their phones to flirt. According to Pew Research Center, nearly 60% of teen relationships now start online. This leads to more frequent and continued cell phone use.
- The bad example set by their parents. According to a USA Today study, between 59 and 91% of young drivers have seen their parents call or text, and drive at the same time. A habit that, if not corrected, will be inherited by their children.
- Waiting for or responding to emails. Living in a busy society, we always want to feel like we’re keeping busy. Young people between the ages of 15 and 19 have already developed this perception and live with their cell phones on the go.
Tips to Prevent Teens Texting and Driving
The importance of exercising a responsible role for young drivers is key to their future. However, it is not enough to say it, it must be practiced. According to several surveys, despite the fact that adults try to lecture young people on proper driving, they do not take them into account. 77% of young drivers say that their family insists that teenagers texting and driving is not right, but they resign themselves to it because they see adults doing it.
Setting an example for our children is essential for proper behavior on the road. If your child sees you texting while driving, they will think it is acceptable behavior.
If you want to be sure your child is not using their phone, there are apps that can help. Drive Mode, DriveSafe, Text No More, or This App Safe Lives are some of them. This type of software detects when the phone is in motion and disallows its use.
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Nowadays, the risks of having an incident on the road seem to be increasing. As noted, teens texting and driving is becoming more prevalent. In fact, this habit is on the rise on a yearly basis. This, unfortunately, leads to more accidents.
If you or someone in your family has been injured in a car accident because of a distracted driver texting, you have the right to report it. Being involved in a car crash because of another driver’s negligence can not only result in serious injury, but death.
Don’t miss your chance to regain the economic and mental peace of mind you deserve. The legal team at Adamson Ahdoot has over 100 years of combined experience and can represent you to win your case.
Don’t be afraid to bring the responsible party to justice.
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