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Tuesday 04, Aug, 2015

Distracted Driving a Major Factor in Teen Car Accidents

A Chicago Accident Attorney Shares the Details

Numerous studies indicate that approximately 11 percent of all deaths on U.S. highways are the result of drivers being distracted while behind the wheel. A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reveals that this problem is particularly troublesome with teenagers, as nearly 60 percent of all teen crashes classified as moderate to severe are the result of distracted drivers.

These numbers are surprising, as a previous estimate from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration put the figure at only about 14 percent. This also means teens are significantly more likely to drive while distracted than the rest of the population.

In the study, researchers analyzed the final six seconds of data recorded before crashes from 1,700 different in-vehicle event-recording tools. Distractions were a factor in 58 percent of teen car accidents, including 89 percent of all crashes involving road departure and 76 percent of all rear-end collisions. During those final six seconds, teen drivers kept their eyes off the road for about 4.1 seconds, on average. Most experts within the auto industry agree that drivers should never remove their eyes from the road for more than two seconds at a time.

These statistics are consistent with other concerning facts about teen drivers. Car crashes are the leading cause of death among teenagers, and young people get into accidents more often than any other driving demographic. In 2013, the most recent year for which there is complete data, police records show 963,000 teen drivers involved in auto accidents, including 383,000 injuries and 2,865 fatalities.

The following were the most common factors that caused young drivers to be distracted:

  • Interacting with passengers (15 percent)
  • Use of cell phones (12 percent)
  • Looking at something in the vehicle (10 percent)
  • Looking at something outside of the vehicle (9 percent)
  • Singing or dancing to music (8 percent)
  • Personal grooming (6 percent)
  • Trying to reach for an object in the vehicle (6 percent)

Considering how busy Chicago’s roads and highways can be, it’s troubling that so many young drivers regularly operate their vehicles while distracted. If you’ve been injured in an auto accident you suspect was the result of distracted driving, meet with a skilled personal injury lawyer at the Arami Law Office, P.C. Call us today at (312) 212-1397 or contact us online.

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