Recent Study Reveals Substantial Impact of Distractions on Teen Drivers
Anyone with a teenager at home understands how susceptible they are to distraction, and how absorbed they can become in the technologies that allow them to connect with their friends. A recent study has examined teen behavior surrounding an auto accident, and found that distractions from both friends and technology commonly play a role.
The AAA Foundation for Traffic safety conducted a study using dashboard-mounted cameras in the cars of teens aged between 16 and 19 years old. The researchers studied film gathered between August 2007 and April 2015, specifically examining what happened in the car of teens involved in an accident in the six seconds prior to being involved in a crash. The study found that the majority of crashes occurred after the driver had engaged in a form of distracting behavior. In 59% of the accidents studied, some form of distraction pulled the teen’s attention from the road. Passengers appeared to have a highly distracting effect on drivers, as passengers were present in 34% of all accidents studied. A driver was speaking with or otherwise interacting with a passenger in 15% of accidents. 12% of accidents studied showed the driver using their phone in the moments before the crash.
The study also tracked changes in behavior over the span of the seven years for which data was collected. For example, in 2008, 13% of all drivers involved in a crash showed no reaction prior to the moment of impact. However, by 2014, 25% of drivers involved in a crash did not show a reaction prior to the crash. This means that a quarter of those involved in an accident were distracted enough that they failed to realize a crash was going to occur.
Many states, including New York, have laws that bar drivers with probationary licenses from having more than one non-family-member passenger under 21 years of age, due to the risk of distraction teens pose to one another. Additionally, teen drivers face serious consequences for being found texting or otherwise using their phone while driving. Parents are encouraged to reinforce the importance of following these laws with their children due to the great safety concerns involved.
If you or someone you love has been injured in an accident in the Hudson Valley, contact the compassionate and knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at Ingber & Provost for a consultation on your case at 845-733-2720, with offices conveniently located in Poughkeepsie, Melville, and Bloomingburg.