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Distracted driving accident likely for typical Wisconsin teen

Good drivers with years of experience traveling Wisconsin roadways know that -- to prevent an accident -- they must pay attention to what they're doing and the surroundings within which they find themselves. Being aware is the first step in being safe. Teen drivers, however, sometimes forget that basic tenant, which could make them likely candidates for a distracted driving accident.

Researchers recently completed a study that looked at two different groups. The first consisted of about 40 drivers who had just gotten their licenses. The second group was comprised of around 100 drivers who had been driving long enough to be considered experienced.

Both groups had cameras placed in their cars. These were used by researchers to determine what activities the drivers had participated in before an accident or close-call occurred. They also had sensors installed in their vehicles so that accidents and near-misses could be tracked when they happened.

The study found that, when young drivers first get behind the wheel of a car, they tend to be hyper-careful and aware of all the rules of the road. That changes within a month or two of when they begin to drive. At that point, teens typically begin to increase the number of activities they feel they can handle while driving. Whether it is eating, calling a friend or just not paying close attention to what they're doing, a teen with little driving experience often participates in activities that can be distracting -- even for someone who has been driving for years.

As in any state, distracted drivers in Wisconsin can also be dangerous drivers. This is especially true if the person controlling the car does not have the experience to react quickly when something unusual or unexpected happens. When it does, and a distracted driving accident occurs, injured parties may wish to file a personal injury claim against the person deemed negligent.

Source: Wisconsin Public Radio News, When Teen Drivers Multitask, They're Even Worse Than Adults, Maanvi Singh, Jan. 1, 2014

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