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Study Finds Distracted Teen Driving on the Rise

Teens have always been risky drivers, and according to research, the increasing use of cellphones and other handheld devices is making California’s teenage drivers take even more risks when behind the wheel. And since the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day is considered the “100 deadliest days” for teenage drivers on the road, it’s important to be aware of these risks.For example, according to the California Office of Traffic Safety, the number of teenage drivers using cellphones while driving nearly doubled in the past year, increasing from 9 percent in 2011 to 18 percent in 2012.What many teens don’t realize is that their recklessness could have deadly consequences. California’s fatality rate for car accidents caused by teen drivers is the second highest in the nation with an estimated 598 lives lost annually.

How Teens View Distracted Driving

It’s not surprising that the amount of teens using cellphones while driving has increased when you look at their views on distracted driving. According to a study conducted by AT&T California, many teens are aware of the dangers of distracted driving, but that doesn’t stop them from doing it anyway. The study found that:

  • Although 75 percent of teens said that they know texting while driving is dangerous, 43 percent of them do it anyway
  • Despite the fact that 70 percent of teens believe it is dangerous to text while at a red light, 60 percent continue to do it and 73 percent glance at their phones when they’re sitting at a red light
  • Over 60 percent of the teens surveyed admitted to glancing at their phones while driving and 61 percent have seen their peers do it

What’s the cause of this dangerous behavior? According to the survey, 89 percent of teens say that they use their handheld devices while driving because of peer pressure. Teens believe that they are expected to reply to a text or e-mail within five minutes or less of receiving it, so they feel pressured to use their cellphones when on the road.

The Dangers of Distracted Driving

In 2010 alone, almost 3,100 people will killed in motor vehicle accidents that involved distracted driving, and another 416,000 were injured in these crashes. Common distractions that drivers engage in include texting, talking on the phone, eating, grooming or changing the radio station.

If you have been injured in an accident with a driver whom you suspect was distracted, contact an aggressive San Francisco car accident attorney who can advise you of your rights. You may be able to receive damages for your medical care if you win a lawsuit.

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