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New research shows distracted driving a real problem among teens

Distracted driving is among the biggest issues in roadway safety nowadays, accounting for a significant number of crashes and fatalities. No age group is immune, particularly given the fact that so many Americans own smartphones, which are a significant source of distracted driving. That being said, young drivers are probably at a heightened risk given what some studies have shown.

According to a recent AAA study, almost 60 percent of teen crashes are a result of distracted driving. The study is a follow-up to previous research showing that the 100 days beginning on Memorial Day are the deadliest for teen drivers. 

That research also shows that over the past five years, an average of 1,022 people have died annually in crashes involving teenage drivers. Accidents involving teenage drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 increase by 16 percent per day compared to the rest of the year.

The recent research shows that the most common distractions for teen drivers leading up to motor vehicle accidents are: talking or paying attention to other passengers; talking, texting or otherwise operating a cell phone; and looking for or attending to something inside the vehicle. Many states have tried to address the problem by limiting the number of passengers teen drivers may have in the vehicle with them and sometimes the times when they may have passengers. Most states have also passed restrictions on the use of cell phones while driving.

In future posts, we’ll look at New York law in these areas and how it can factor into personal injury litigation in teen driver accidents. 

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