Early this morning, CBSNews.com reported on a new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study showed that over 80% of teenage drivers has been recorded using an electronic device, such as a phone or GPS, at least once while driving. The study also found that electronic devices are the number one distraction, and that teenage female drivers are twice as likely as teenage males to use electronic devices when they are driving.
An Illinois accident lawyer of ours was not surprised when the article reports that, “talking and texting are the most common forms of distracted driving. As we reported over the weekend, driving distracted can lead to serious accidents involving critical injuries or even fatalities. In previous posts, we have additionally motioned that distractions while driving are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the U.S. Hopefully this study will shine a light on this growing issue and discourage teens from these behaviors.
The study used video recordings from inside the cars of 50 families, all of which had a young driver. The ages of the drivers ranged from 16 to 18-years-old, had both male and female drivers, and used a variety of vehicles. In 6.7 percent of the 7,500 plus video clips, teenagers were found using electronic devices with a vast majority holding the phone to their ear. A Chicago auto accident attorney at our firm also pointed out that the study used several abrupt driving events, such as a sudden stop or turn that triggered the camera. The article stated that in close to 50% of the abrupt driving events, the teen driver was not looking at the road in the 10 seconds before the event.
This study reaffirms what we already know about distracted driving: that it is dangerous and drivers should not do it. Our Illinois car accident attorneys have seen many cases in which answering a phone call or sending a text message while driving resulted in serious injuries or even fatalities. We encourage groups such as the AAA Foundation to continue to draw attention to this problem and also encourage educational programs and parents to remind teens and new drivers the risks involved with distracted driving.