Teen distracted driving is a larger problem than originally believed

A recent study discovered that teenage distracted driving is a contributing factor in many more car accidents than previous reports suggested.

Teenage distracted driving results in many fatal and injurious accidents in Ohio and throughout the country. However, a new study discovered that teenage distracted driving is a contributing factor in many more car accidents than past reports have suggested.

Leading forms of distraction

Prior estimates from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration suggested that distracted driving was a factor in 14 percent of collisions that involved teenage drivers. After analyzing in-vehicle video footage from approximately 1,700 teenage drivers, researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that distraction was involved 58 percent of the time in the six seconds leading up to a motor vehicle accident.

There were many different forms of distraction that were seen in the video footage looked at by the researchers. However, some of the most common forms of distracted driving among the teenage participants included the following:

  • Cellphone use - this type of distracted driving was a contributing factor in 12 percent of the crashes. This form of distraction also took the eyes of the teenagers off of the road for an average of 4.1 seconds.
  • Looking at something inside of the vehicle - this was a factor in 10 percent of the crashes.
  • Interactions with others in the car - this occurred before 15 percent of the motor vehicle collisions.

In many of the accidents, the teenage drivers failed to steer or brake appropriately before the onset of the collision. This suggests that cellphone use may have a significant effect on a teen driver's ability to react to emergency situations while driving in comparison to other forms of distraction.

Cellphone laws in Ohio

In Ohio, according to the Ohio Bureau of Motor Vehicles, it is illegal for any driver under the age of 18 to use an electronic device while operating a vehicle. This means that teenagers are not allowed to text, email, talk on a cellphone, play video games or use a handheld GPS device behind the wheel. Additionally, drivers over the age of 18 are prohibited from using an electronic device to write, send or read a text message.

Although these laws are designed to reduce the number of distracted driving-related collisions that occur in Ohio, they only account for one type of driver distraction. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, drivers elevate their risk of causing an injurious or fatal crash when they engage in any activity that prevents them from fully focusing on driving.

Seeking compensation

Accident victims in Ohio may suffer from serious injuries that harm them physically, emotionally and financially. If you were injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, consult with an attorney to determine what compensation may be available to you.

Keywords: distracted, driving, accident, injury