Baltimore Car Accident Lawyers: Teens and Distracted DrivingJuly 25, 2016
Teenage drivers are notorious for becoming easily distracted while driving, whether it is from texting, talking on the phone, or chatting with another friend in the car. Most teenagers believe that they are invincible and that nothing bad could happen simply from sending a quick text. Unfortunately, based on a recent study, distracted driving is responsible for 60 percent of teen crashes, and the number of serious car accidents in Maryland increases significantly during the summer months because more teens are on the road than any other time of year. In fact, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, over 5,000 people were fatally injured over the past five years in wrecks involving teen drivers.
During the summer months, also known as the “100 Deadliest Days,” teen crashes resulted in the following:
- Among teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 19, the average number of fatal car accidents increased by 16 percent per day compared to other times of the year.
- During the summer months, an average of 10 people were fatally injured each day in car accidents involving teen drivers.
- Distracted driving continued to be one of the leading causes of car crashes among teen drivers.
According to the director of Public and Government Affairs for The American Automobile Association (AAA) Mid-Atlantic, in order to prevent fatal car accidents due to distracted driving, particularly throughout the summer months, we must develop a better understanding as to what the main distractions are for the average teen. The AAA Foundation collaborated with researchers at the University of Iowa to analyze teens’ behaviors just before a crash. They studied over 2,200 videos from in-car dash cameras between 2007 and 2012. They found that the most common distractions were the following:
- Talking or interacting with another passenger in the vehicle was responsible for 15 percent of crashes;
- Talking, texting, or using a cellphone was responsible for 12 percent of crashes;
- Looking at or paying attention to something inside the car was responsible for 11 percent of crashes.
In addition, research showed that the way teens use their cell phones when they are driving changed quite a bit over the course of the study. Study results showed that, just before crashing, teens were more likely to be texting or looking down at their phones as opposed to talking.
How to Prevent Distracted Driving in Teens
AAA recommends that all parents educate their teens about the potential dangers of distracted driving. Parents should closely monitor their children’s behaviors behind the wheel and take the following proactive steps:
- Have open, honest conversation on a regular basis about the dangers of distracted driving.
- Create a parent-teen “contract” that your teen driver must follow that includes a clear set of rules against distracted driving.
- Model the kind of driving behavior you want your teen to exhibit by avoiding texting, talking or other distractions while you are driving.
Maryland Car Accident Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims Injured in Distracted Driving Accidents
If you or a loved one has been injured in a car accident that was caused by a distracted teen driver, contact the skilled Maryland car accident lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton. Our dedicated team will conduct a thorough case review and pursue the maximum financial compensation for your injuries. To set up a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.
Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent car accident victims and their families throughout Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Southern Maryland and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Parkville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.