Statistics pointing to the problem of distracted driving are staggering -- especially when they relate to teenage drivers. According to one study, approximately three-fourths of rear-end accidents caused by teens were the result of the teen getting distracted. Common distractions were passengers and smartphones.
There's a need for more education regarding distracted driving and teenagers. But where do we start?
It's important to study the problem in depth
In-depth research may be required before we can arrive at multiple solutions to inspire teens to pay more attention to the road. In the meantime, parents and educators may want to focus on education. Many teens who are new to driving may not realize the dangers involved with taking their eyes off the road for even a second.
In the case of smartphone distractions, studies have shown that teens who use cellphones while driving have slower reaction times. In fact, in 50 percent of studied cases, teens using smartphones failed to slow down or take evasive action to avoid a collision.
According to the Transportation and Vehicle Policy and Research Program, at the University of Iowa, "There have been several recent naturalistic studies of driving that have reported distraction to be present much more often than was originally seen in police-reported crash data."
In fact, researchers have found that teens are more likely to engage in distracting activities than adult drivers. Part of the problem is that teenagers are naturally overconfident in their ability to take risks and not get hurt.
Did a teenage driver hit your car from behind?
These days police, prosecutors and personal injury attorneys may be able to prove that a driver was using a smartphone at the time of a crash. For example, a personal injury lawyer can subpoena the cellphone records of a driver who caused a crash. These records can then be used to support the injured party's claim for financial damages based a driver not paying attention.