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Young or old, distracted driving presents a big risk

There is a great deal of focus on the hazards of distracted driving. There is good reason for it. Statistics collected at the state and federal levels tend to support that driver distraction is a contributing factor in far too many accidents.

Officials suggest that even those numbers underestimate the real problem because they come from drivers self-reporting. The presumption is that at least some drivers refuse to admit when their behaviors cause accidents, even in anonymous surveys.

We tend to write regularly about this topic because it is so important. As we noted in one recent article, while much of the awareness-raising effort highlights reducing texting and driving by younger, inexperienced drivers, one study suggests older drivers may pose a greater danger.

That research determined that the older a driver was, the less capable they were of being able to maintain their lane when also trying to deal with an incoming text message. Younger drivers were much better at handling a text distraction, possibly because they have more experience with the technology. The results led the researchers to speculate that the issue may be less about experience and more about avoiding multi-tasking while driving.

For example, a recent AAA Foundation study, touted as being the most comprehensive of its kind, found that younger, less experienced drivers may suffer distractions more often than older drivers may. And the distractions come in many forms: interactions with others in the car; cellphone use; focusing on something inside the car; focusing on something outside the car; reacting to music on the sound system and grooming.

The urge to multitask is probably strong for drivers of all ages. And though technology makes it easier to think we can do more of it, research suggests that's not the case. Victims of accidents in which distraction played a role should be aware that they have possible legal recourse to seek compensation. That route starts by consulting experienced counsel.

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Britton Law, P.A.
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Young or old, distracted driving presents a big risk | Britton Law, P.A.