Distracted Driving Widespread among Teen Motorists

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

A new survey by the American Automobile Association and Seventeen magazine shows that Los Angeles car accident lawyers must continue their concern about teen motorists and distractions.  The survey shows that nine out of the 10 American teenagers have engaged in some form of distracted driving behind the wheel, even though they are perfectly aware that such behavior can increase their risks of being involved in a crash.  According to the survey, 84% of motorists aged between 16 and 19 are aware that distracted driving can increase the risk of an accident, but it doesn't prevent 86% of them from engaging in such behavior anyway. 

That may not exactly be news, but the real eye-opener in the survey is that texting while driving and cell phone use are not the biggest distractions for teenage motorists.  There are other distractions that increase these motorists’ risk being involved in an accident, and law enforcement agencies in California and legislators would do well to target these distractions too.  Teenagers are distracted by a number of behaviors, including applying makeup, eating, texting, talking on cell phones, talking to their fellow teen passengers and changing radio stations. 

In fact, changing radio channels or changing CDs is the number one distraction with 70% of the teen motorists in the survey admitting to doing this.  Eating and talking on a cell phone while driving follow close behind with 61% and 60% of the motorists admitting to these practices.  Texting while driving is further down the list with just 28% of the motorists admitting to texting at the wheel.  That should definitely be a wake-up call to law enforcement agencies that seem to be fixated on the use of cell phones and texting devices at the wheel. 

Drivers aged between 18 and 19 years of age are much more likely to be distracted, compared to drivers between 16 and 17 years.  Obviously, age doesn't necessarily make these motorists wiser.  Teens, who drive their own vehicles are also much more likely to be distracted (35%), compared to teen motorists who have to share their cars (20%).


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