The number one leading cause of death for teenagers is car crashes, even as the total number of fatal crashes has fallen dramatically since the 1990s. Teens often make bad choices behind the wheel because their brains do not develop fully until they are in their mid-20’s. In particular, one common bad choice that many young people make is to become distracted as they drive.
Insurance.com reported on teen distracted driving recently and indicated that many of the current statistics on distraction among teen drivers significantly understate the true risk. Many more teens may be distracted by various causes than is currently being reported.
When a teenager is distracted and causes a motor vehicle crash to occur, passengers in the car with the teenager and other victims on the road may be able to make a claim to recover compensation. A Janesville auto accident lawyer should be consulted to find out options for holding a careless teenager accountable for damages caused while he or she was behind the wheel.
THE REAL RISK OF TEEN DISTRACTED DRIVING CRASHES
To determine the true risk of distracted driving for teenagers behind the wheel, AAA conducted a study that is being described as “the most comprehensive research ever conducted into crash videos of teen drivers.” The study involved analyzing crash data from thousands of videos of teen drivers that were obtained from in-vehicle event recorders.
The AAA Foundation looked at the six seconds immediately before the crash and found that the teenage driver was distracted in 58 percent of the collisions that occurred. This figure is significantly higher than most current accepted estimates, which suggest that about 14 percent of collisions involving teen drivers involve distraction.
There were many different kinds of distracting behaviors occurring with young people behind the wheel. For example:
- In 15 percent of collisions, the teen driver was distracted by interacting with other passengers in the car.
- In 12 percent of collisions, the teen driver was using a phone at the time the collision occurred.
- In 10 percent of collisions, the teenager’s eyes were looking for something in the car.
- In nine percent of collisions, the teen was focused on looking at something outside the car.
- In eight percent of collisions, the teenager was distracted by moving to music or by singing along with music.
- In six percent of collisions, the teenage driver was engaged in some kind of grooming activity, like applying makeup or brushing his or her hair.
- In six percent of collisions, the teen was reaching for objects.
Much of the focus on preventing distracted driving crashes is centered on deterring cell phone use, but these other behaviors can be just as dangerous or even more dangerous. If a teenager is engaged in these behaviors and his or her actions cause a crash to occur, victims can make a claim to recover compensation with the help of an auto accident lawyer.
Call today to learn more about options for pursuing a crash case so you can recover compensation for all losses a distracted teen driver has caused you to experience.