It’s been a number of years since distracted driving became a national safety issue; specifically, talking on cell phones and texting while driving. Since then, more than 30 states have enacted laws limiting cell phone use while behind the wheel, and they have enacted rules detailing how teen drivers may drive.
Essentially, young drivers may not use cell phones at all when behind the wheel, and they may only drive at certain times of the day. Despite these rules, teen drivers still use their cell phones while driving; but it was always difficult to track how many young drivers actually do so. After all, police reports (created after an accident) may not always detail whether a driver was distracted by using a phone (or any other reason).
However, a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that distracted driving was more of a problem among teen drivers than originally thought. Researchers reviewed nearly 1,700 dashboard camera videos that chronicled the moments before a teen driver was involved in a crash, and they found that these drivers were commonly distracted.
The distractions included talking on cell phones, sending text messages, singing and talking with friends (that took their eyes off the road). These distractions were essentially the cause of more than half of the accidents seen by researchers.
The study exemplifies the need for teens to be careful while behind the wheel. If, after an accident, it is found that a teen driver was distracted by using a cell phone or by other means, he or she could be held liable for the crash.