The exciting rite of passage for teenagers earning their driver’s license comes with a serious note of caution: the susceptibility to distracted driving. For parents, educators and anyone with a stake in a teen’s life, understanding this issue is crucial.
Distracted driving is a significant problem among teenagers for several reasons.
Teens don’t have driving experience
A teen’s inexperience behind the wheel makes it harder for them to react effectively to sudden changes in road conditions or unexpected events. Add a distraction into the mix, and the likelihood of an accident increases exponentially.
Teens have constant access to technology
Today’s teens are the first generation to grow up with smartphones as a constant presence in their lives. Texting, social media notifications, or even a quick glance at a GPS can take their eyes off the road for a dangerous amount of time. Even short glances at a phone can lead to significant problems. Sending or reading a text can take your eyes off the road for at least five seconds. At 55 mph, that’s like driving the length of an entire football field with your eyes closed.
Teens can succumb to peer pressure
Peer pressure can also play a role. A car full of friends can lead to distractions. This includes physical distractions, such as turning around to talk, and cognitive distractions, including maintaining a conversation. These reduce the teen driver’s focus on the road.
Victims of crashes caused by teen drivers can have significant injuries. They may choose to seek compensation for the financial damages caused by the wreck. These cases can include claims for missed wages, medical bills and similar expenses.