According to a study from AAA, 60% of teenage driving accidents involve distractions. Talking, texting, and other cell phone usage accounted for 12% of crashes, talking to a passenger accounted for 15%, and reaching for or looking at something inside of the vehicle accounted for 11%. The research, which was conducted over an eight year period, also indicated that how teens use their cell phones changed over time. In crashes caused by cell phone usage, teens are usually looking down at their phones or texting, instead of talking on their phones.
In Virginia, eight out of ten traffic crashes are caused by distracted driving. Although distracted driving is not limited to cell phone use, these devices have no doubt contributed to the sharp increase in motor vehicle crashes. When a person talks on the phone, he or she is focused on the conversation rather than on the road, reducing driving ability by nearly 40%. Texting or checking social media is even more dangerous, significantly increasing one’s chance for a crash.
Anyone at any age puts themselves and others at risk when they engage in this kind of behavior, but researchers have found that teens are especially susceptible to this. In fact, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety states that car accidents are the leading cause of death for teens.
To help combat this alarming uptrend, parents should speak to their teens about safe driving practices and the importance of not using a cell phone while driving. Lead by example. If your teen sees you using a cell phone while driving, they might choose to emulate this behavior, regardless of any safety advice you try to impart to them.
The Reston and Northern Virginia car accident attorneys at Hall & Sethi, PLC have over 65 years of combined experience. We have handled a wide range of automobile accidents and will work quickly to obtain a settlement that benefits you, or take it to court if necessary.
Call us today for a free consultation at (703) 991-1949.