Hernando County Auto Accident Lawyer :: Study Confirms Distracted Teen Drivers are Worse Than Adults

January 6, 2014

According to a new study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, when teenagers eat or talk to others while driving they are more likely to become involved in an accident than adult drivers partaking in the same activities.

The newly released research shows that while many teens start out extra cautious when they first get their driver’s license, they tend to start multitasking after just a few months behind the wheel.

The study also found that while older drivers can handle eating or talking while driving, which can still trip up novice motorists, dialing a cell phone increases the risk of accidents among all drivers, both young and old.

Teen Driver Betch

Within just six short months of getting their licenses, young drivers participating in this study started texting, eating and playing with the dials on the radio while driving as much as more experienced adult drivers. But experts say that it takes thousands of hours of practice to get good at driving, and this disconnect could explain why accident rates among teen drivers are so high.

The researchers involved in this study compared data from two small studies, one that tracked 42 newly licensed young drivers and one that monitored 100 drivers with more experience.

All of the participants had sensors and cameras installed in their vehicles. These sensors allowed researchers to track when drivers got into accidents or close calls. Researchers then watched the videos to see what the drivers were doing just before the accidents occurred.

The study ignored any collisions caused by drunk driving and accidents clearly caused by other motorists.

Due to the small number of people involved in this study, researchers noted that the results will have to be verified by other research. However, there are already a few larger studies in the works, including one that is tracking more than 2,000 drivers, which could make things clearer when it comes to teen driver distraction.

The data confirmed that for both teenage drivers and adults, talking on a cell phone did not cause accidents. But when both groups were dialing on a cell phone, this increased the risk of an accident. Researchers claim this is because you can still be looking at the forward roadway when you are just talking on a cell phone, but when you dial or text you must look away from the road, which is much riskier.

In today’s busy world, multitasking has become a way of life. People multitask at work, at home and even when they get behind the wheel of a car. The use of electronic devices and cell phones while driving has become a very serious hazard on the roadways over the past decade. As this study shows, even older and more experienced drivers can become distracted by texting or dialing on a cell phone, increasing the risk for serious or fatal auto accidents.

If you or someone you love has been involved in an accident caused by a distracted driver of any age, texting, dialing or talking on a cell phone, a Hernando County Auto Accident Injury Attorney at Whittel & Melton can help to make sure any critical evidence from your accident is preserved. We can quickly recover cell phone records to establish a pattern of cell phone use while driving, which can strengthen your personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. To see if you have a case, please contact us today online or call 352-666-2121 for a free consultation. You must act fast following an auto accident so that a thorough investigation can be conducted of the crash site and crucial evidence can be preserved before a cutoff date imposed by the statute of limitations.

Photo credit: State Farm / Foter.com / CC BY

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