One-Third of Teens Text Behind the Wheel
December 14, 2018
According to a recently published study in the Journal of Adolescent Health, at least one in three teenagers admit to texting while driving. More than 101,000 teenagers 14-years-old and above were asked a variety of questions about unsafe driving behaviors – and the findings are both eye opening and scary.
Teen Driving Statistics
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death among American teenagers. Every day, six teens between16 and 19-years-old die in these accidents – and hundreds more get hurt. In 2016, more than 292,000 adolescents were inured and 2,433 others died in motor vehicle-related incidents.
Dangerous driving behaviors – such as distracted driving, driving under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, getting behind the wheel without a permit or a driver’s license, not wearing a seatbelt – and other unsafe acts are all major contributors behind dangerous and deadly car crashes. Luckily, all of these behaviors are also avoidable, so long as parents and caregivers of teens talk about safe driving practices and the serious responsibilities that accompany getting behind the wheel of a motor vehicle.
The chances of a teen texting while driving steadily increase from the age of 15 and on. For example, more than two-times as many 17-year-olds text behind the wheel as 15-year-olds. The researchers also found that:
- Teen drivers that wear seatbelts are less likely to text behind the wheel;
- White teens text while driving at a higher rate than teen drivers of any other race, and:
- Once a teen driver is licensed and can drive without an adult in the vehicle, he or she becomes much more likely to text
The CDC reports that teens are more likely to lack using caution and that they are prone to not recognizing road-related hazards. Other risk factors known to contribute to injury causing and fatal automobile accidents that involve teen drivers are:
- Driving between the hours of 3pm and midnight, particularly on the weekends;
- Speeding or driving recklessly in other ways (e.g. not obeying posted limits or observing traffic laws);
- Gender: male drivers are more likely to get into a car crash than female drivers are;
- Tailgating or driving too closely behind another motor vehicle, and:
- Drinking: at least 21% of teen motor vehicle accidents involve a driver that has is under the influence of alcohol
Some of the other well known causes behind car crashes involving teen drivers include driving with teenager passengers in the vehicle, drowsy driving, and being a generally inexperienced – or new – driver.
How to Protect Teen Drivers
One way to decrease the amount of teens that get injured or killed in automobile accidents is to implement effective laws that prohibit dangerous driving behaviors, such as anti-cell phone laws. Increasing other enforcement efforts – like police checkpoints and ticketing – is another proven way to reduce rates of preventable accidents. For the most part however, becoming a responsible driver starts at home. Leading by example is crucial – and that includes everything from wearing a seatbelt, not drinking and driving, to never using a phone behind the wheel.
When parents and caregivers model good driving behaviors it positively affects a teen driver’s chances for identifying hazards and using safe, responsible driving practices. If you would like to learn more about teen drivers and tips for how to protect them, please visit: https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html. If you have questions about a motor vehicle accident involving a teen driver or passenger, please contact our firm directly.
Allentown Car Accident Lawyers at Galfand Berger, LLP Helping Represent Victims of Automobile Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in an automobile accident, please contact our Allentown car accident lawyers at Galfand Berger. With offices located in Philadelphia, Bethlehem, Reading and Lancaster, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania and New Jersey. To schedule a consultation, call us at 800-222-8792 or complete our online contact form.