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High-Tech Solutions to Reduce Distracted Driving Among Teens

Texting and driving teenager

Distracted driving is a serious problem that has only been compounded by the proliferation of smartphones and other electronic gadgets. Among teens, the percentage of drivers who make phone calls, send or receive texts, or otherwise drive while distracted is particularly alarming. Dr. Beth Ebel of the University of Washington and her colleagues have conducted extensive research on possible solutions to distracted driving.

Throughout the 20-plus years that the LA car accident lawyers at Ellis Law have been advocating for California families, our team has grown increasingly concerned about the prevalence of crashes caused by unsafe driving habits. If you or a loved one has been injured as a result of a teen driving while distracted in Los Angeles, you can count on the legal team at Ellis Law to thoroughly review your case and explain your options.

Evaluating high-risk driving events

Dr. Ebel, director of the Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center and associate professor of pediatrics, conducted a study designed to evaluate whether certain technology could limit distracted driving, high-risk driving events, and subsequently, injuries from car crashes. High-risk driving events include swerving, hard braking, and similar behaviors.

Dr. Ebel and her colleagues evaluated results from 29 study participants, all of them teenagers. The participants’ driving behaviors were analyzed while using two different interventions. The team installed an in-vehicle camera system that captured high-risk driving events. Parents and their teens could later review the footage.

The second intervention consists of blocking technology that prevents incoming and outgoing calls and texts while the teen is operating the vehicle. Each of these interventions is already commercially available.

Blocking technology has best results

The teens were divided into three groups. The first group was studied with only the camera system, while the second had both interventions. The third was the control group. The results, which were collected over the subsequent six months, demonstrated that both interventions were successful in reducing distracted driving among teens, something that is cause for hope for Los Angeles families.

The blocking device installed on teens’ phones was most successful at improving driving safety. The study participants did not attempt to disable the program on their cellphones.

The researchers presented their findings at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting in April. Dr. Ebel indicated that although public awareness campaigns regarding the hazards of distracted driving are a step in the right direction, these campaigns simply aren’t doing enough.

“The risks of electronic distraction for young drivers are very real, but facts and figures have not done enough to change driver behavior,” said Dr. Ebel. It is hoped that the use of blocking technology to curb distracted driving will reduce the number of deaths and injuries from car crashes.

Ellis Law offers a helping hand to car crash victims

At Ellis Law, our Los Angeles distracted driver accident lawyers may use a variety of effective strategies to prove the negligence of the other driver. Witness testimony, police reports, officer testimony, statements made by the other driver, cellphone records, and surveillance footage can all be used to prove that a teen was driving while distracted in Los Angeles. Call our law firm at 1-800-INJURED for confidential assistance.