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Why it is important to talk to your teen about distracted driving

On Behalf of | Apr 1, 2021 | Personal Injury

Getting their driver’s license is a right of passage for many teens in Clinton and most will take any opportunity to hit the road, whether they are running an errand for their parents, traveling to school or hanging out with friends. However, teens and even young adults do not have the experience behind the wheel that older adults do and may make reckless decisions. One of these decisions is using a cellphone while driving.

The statistics on teen driving and cellphone use

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2018 25% of distracted drivers involved in a fatal motor vehicle were between the ages of 20 to 29. Moreover, motorists between the ages of 15 to 19 were more likely to drive distracted than motorists age 20 and above among drivers in fatal crashes. Of these motorists, 8% of those ages 15 to 19 were distracted when the accident occurred. According to one survey, in 2019, 39% of high school drivers who drove in the previous 30 days reported using a cellphone while behind the wheel to send a text or email at least one of those 30 days. These are sobering statistics.

Why is texting and driving so dangerous?

Many teens seem to be glued to their cellphones. However, texting and driving is especially dangerous because it encompasses all three major forms of distractions. A driver who is reading a text or sending one has their eyes on their cellphone, not the road — a visual distraction. A driver who is sending a text message has their hands on their cellphone, not the steering wheel — a manual distraction. Finally, a driver who is reading a text message and thinking of how to reply has their mind on the message instead of the task of driving — a cognitive distraction. Given this, it is easy to see why cellphone use behind the wheel can lead to a distracted driving accident.

Learn more about distracted driving accidents

Parents should have a good conversation with their teenagers about safe driving practices. However, distracted driving accidents, whether caused by teens or older adults, will continue to occur. This post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Our firm’s webpage on motor vehicle accidents may be a useful resource for those who want more information on this topic.