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New Study Spotlights Worsening Problem of Teen Distracted Driving

texting driving teensA recent study published by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety spotlights the growing problem of teen distracted driving, which has become a danger of epidemic proportions. Not long ago The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that distraction was a contributing factor in 14% of all crashes involving teenage drivers. The AAA’s report now says that distraction causes nearly 60% of all teen car crashes, which comes as no surprise given this group’s rampant cell phone use and social media obsession.

As experienced car accident lawyers in Los Angeles, Ellis Law is familiar with the hazards of California’s congested roads – where countless crashes are caused every week by careless and distracted drivers. Through the struggles of our clients, we have seen the life-altering ramifications of just seconds of carelessness behind the wheel, whether texting, updating a Facebook page, or chatting with other passengers.

Teen distracted driving study analyzes video

For their study, AAA researchers gathered nearly 1,700 videos taken from in-vehicle event recorders to better assess the contributing factors of teenage car accidents. This footage gave the group an “unprecedented look” into the causes of crashes by adolescent drivers, who have the highest car accident rate in the country.

According to their report, “Using Naturalistic Driving Data to Assess the Prevalence of Environmental Factors and Driver Behaviors in Teen Driver Crashes,” the most common types of distraction witnessed in the videos included:

  • Interacting with other vehicle passengers: 15 percent of accidents
  • Cell phone use: 12 percent of crashes
  • Looking at something inside the vehicle: 10 percent of collisions
  • Looking outside the vehicle: 9 percent of crashes
  • Dancing or singing along with music: 8 percent of crashes
  • Personal grooming /hair styling/applying makeup: 6 percent of accidents
  • Reaching for an object: 6 percent of crashes

The findings suggest that a whopping 6 out of every 10 teen car accidents is caused by driver distraction.

“Access to crash videos has allowed us to better understand the moments leading up to a vehicle impact in a way that was previously impossible,” said Peter Kissinger, president and chief executive of AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in a statement. “The in-depth analysis provides indisputable evidence that teen drivers are distracted in a much greater percentage of crashes than we previously realized.

Prior research shows that cell phone use – hands-free or not – delays a driver’s reaction time just as much as if they were legally impaired with alcohol, or had .08 BAC. California has banned not only texting and driving, but hand-held cell phones as well as hands-free cell phone use in drivers under the age of 18.

Here at Ellis Law, we remain hopeful that such legislation will reduce the numbers of preventable injuries and fatalities caused by distracted driving.

Speak with a Los Angeles distracted driver accident lawyer

As the AAA study indicates, cell phones are just one of several possible distractions that are claiming the attention of teenage drivers. If you or a loved one has been harmed by someone else’s recklessness behind the wheel, or a distracted driver, you may be entitled to compensation through the courts.

A personal injury lawsuit will attempt to recover losses incurred from medical bills, lost wages, diminished earning potential, permanent disability as well as your emotional pain and suffering. Our attorneys can review the circumstances and merits of your case to determine if you have a viable claim for compensation. To arrange a free legal consultation with Ellis Law attorneys, we invite you to call our LA offices toll-free at 1-800-INJURED. There is no charge for the case review, and we only get paid when you do.