Cutting down distracted driving accidents involving teens

There's No Substitute for Experience

Tennessee residents may be aware that several awareness campaigns have been run recently to warn younger drivers about the dangers of texting while behind the wheel. While studies indicate that these campaigns have achieved a certain measure of success, a study led by an Oregon State University professor indicates that much work still needs to be done to reduce the amount of distracted driving accidents involving teens.

The study reveals more than one out of four teens change their clothes or shoes while driving. Other risky behavior admitted by younger drivers includes putting in contact lenses, applying makeup and completing homework assignments. Distracted drivers are a leading cause of car accidents, and researchers believe that many teenagers are unaware of how dangerous this kind of behavior can be.

To drive the message home that operating a motor vehicle requires a driver's full attention, researchers visited schools to conduct a basic multitasking exercise. Many young people are proud of their ability to handle several tasks at once, but they were surprised to learn how speaking on the phone could impact their ability to perform a task as simple as writing a list of figures on a blackboard. Safety advocates praised these efforts, but they were quick to add that distracted driving is a problem for all motorists.

The victims of distracted drivers frequently suffer catastrophic injuries in accidents that they are often given little chance to avoid, and this form of negligent behavior can lead to civil sanctions as well as criminal penalties. A personal injury lawyer may seek compensation for those injured in distracted driving accidents by filing a lawsuit against the reckless drivers responsible. Damages that are sought could include the cost of medical care and compensation for lost wages.

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