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Study: distracted driving accident statistically high with teens

The dangers of texting and driving are well-publicized. Many states, including Wisconsin, have laws banning such an action while driving because of the potential risk of causing a distracted driving accident. However, people still engage in the risky behavior, putting themselves and others at risk. Texting is not the only behavior that could distract a driver and potentially cause an accident. A recent student claims that distracted driving is more often the cause of accidents involving teen drivers than previously thought.

Until this latest study, estimates showed that distractions were a factor in teen accidents approximately 14 percent of the time. Using data from videos of accidents involving teens, researchers have discovered a more disturbing number. After studying the six seconds preceding an accident, the study claims that distracted driving played a role in 58 percent of moderate to severe accidents involving teen drivers. This is significantly higher than previous estimates made based on police reports. Researchers reviewed approximately 1,700 videos recorded by event recorders within the vehicle as part of the study.

According to analysis of the videos, 76 percent of rear-end collisions and 89 percent of accidents involving a road departure were caused by a distraction. Interacting with a passenger was the most prevalent distraction leading to an accident with using a cell phone ranking as the second most common. Additional distractions included reaching for an object, dancing or singing to music and grooming, among others.

Despite the potential of becoming involved in a distracted driving accident, many people continue to exhibit unsafe behaviors while driving. Unfortunately, the lives of passengers and other innocent people are also placed in jeopardy. Many people have been injured or killed as a result of such negligence, creating extreme hardships for those harmed as well as their family members. As a result, many victims in Wisconsin turn to the civil court system. A successfully presented case could result in an award of damages to help cope with the financial and other ramifications of a car accident caused by another's failure to demonstrate reasonable care.  

Source: wsls.com, "AAA: "Distracted and teen crashes even worse than we thought"", March 25, 2015

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