More data on the dangers of teenage and distracted driving

June 8th, 2012 - by DKRPA

Often when the topics of distracted driving or texting while driving come up, one of the arguments made is that teen drivers are one of the worst (if not the worst) perpetrators of the negligent act — and the claim is made with good reason. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 11% of the 3,115 teen traffic fatalities in 2010 were caused by a distracted driver.

In addition, the risk of a car accident for a teen driver is far more significant with each added teen passenger in the car. We discussed the findings of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety last month, with the organization releasing a study that showed a teen driver’s chance of being involved in a fatal car accident exponentially rose with each passenger that was in the car.

More data is being released on the issue, but now it is coming straight from the horse’s mouth. The new survey shows that 47% of responding teens talked on their cell phone (without hands-free technology) while they were behind the wheel of a car. Another 27% claimed they, at some point, wrote or read a text while driving.

The study also discovered an interesting conclusion that a large portion of the more than 1,000 teenage respondents made. About 49% of them said that they had asked a teen driver to stop texting while they were behind the wheel.

Ultimately, distracted driving and texting while driving are issues that will not go away anytime soon. The rise of cell phones in the past decade have made the tool almost a fundamental part of life – but that doesn’t mean it should take your attention away from the road in front of you.

There may not be a law in Florida for texting while driving yet, but reckless or dangerous driving is still punishable by law. It can also make any driver — may they be a teenager or adult — liable in the event of an accident.

Source: Chicago Tribune, “Can teens prevent friends from texting and driving?,” Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, May 30, 2012