Earlier this year on our Fayetteville personal injury law blog, we mentioned the results of a national study that had been released indicating that teen deaths resulting from motor vehicle accidents were on the rise in the U.S. during 2011.
The study did not indicate what factors were contributing to the rise in teen traffic deaths last year, but many speculated that the use of mobile devices and cell phones likely played a role. Now, researchers from the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center have some new data to support these speculations that teen drivers are too distracted by mobile devices when behind the wheel and that distracted driving is a major contributing factor in teen traffic deaths.
According to the president of the AAA Foundation, this study not only proves that distracted driving does lead to serious or fatal car accidents, but it also shows how easily teens can become distracted and what devices are proving to be too dangerous for teen drivers – and other drivers – to use.
The results of the study were released last month. Researchers analyzed data and information taken from in-car video recordings of 50 North Carolina families with one or more young driver in the family. What researchers discovered was that at least 80 percent of the teens had used an electronic device at least once while driving. Researchers also discovered that female participants were twice as more likely to text while driving or use electronic devices for other purposes when behind the wheel compared to male participants.
While electronic devices proved to be most distracting to young drivers, researchers also reported that teens were easily distracted when they had attempted to eat, drink, read or adjust controls in a vehicle while driving.
We will continue this discussion later this week on our blog, focusing on some other important findings by researchers at the University of North Carolina Highway Safety Research Center regarding teen drivers and distracted driving.
Source: CBS News, “Electronics top distractions for teen drivers,” David Morgan, March 26, 2012