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New Research Reveals Prior Estimates of Teen Distracted Driving Understated

April 02, 2015

Most people recognize that teen drivers cause more fatal traffic accidents than any other age group of motorist. The tendency of teen drivers to multi-task by engaging in conversations with passengers, talking on a cell phone and texting friends increases the risk associated with inexperience behind the wheel and the sense of indestructability that often accompanies youth. While distracted driving is especially dangerous for novice drivers, new research reveals that teenagers drive while distracted at a higher rate than previously estimated.

A recent article published by Bloomberg reported a study that involved the review of video recorded moments before a collision by systems installed in vehicles. Distracted driving practices like dancing, putting on makeup, brushing hair and cellphone use was a factor in four times more teen crashes than previously estimated by AAA. The traffic safety organization has cited the results of the recent research as support for the need to have more states adopt graduated licensing laws.

These laws, which gradually phase out driving restrictions on novice drivers, have had a fair amount of success in reducing teen accidents and fatalities. Common restrictions are designed to discourage driving distractions, such as teen passengers and cell phone use. Research reveals that the most comprehensive graduated driver's licensing (GDL) programs have yielded decreases of 38-40 percent in crashes causing fatalities and injuries among 16-year-old drivers.

The increased prevalence of in-vehicle video systems has permitted more accurate evaluation of distracted driving on teen accident rates. The AAA study analyzed 1,691 crash videos and found that teen drivers focusing their attention on something other than the roadway was a factor in causing collisions 58 percent of the time. Previous estimates of the relationship between driving distractions and collisions involving teen drivers postulated that only 14 percent of teen crashes involved multi-tasking. Another notable finding was that 89 percent of road departure accidents and 76 percent of rear-end collisions caused by teen drivers involved distractions.

Currently, there are only twelve states that permit novice drivers to talk on a cell phone and only 5 states that permit motorists to text and drive. However the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board advanced a recommendation to ban all mobile phone use while driving in 2011, which would include a prohibition on hands-free cell phone conversations.

Put Our Law Firm's Over 39 Years of Legal Experience to Work For Your Case

If you or someone close to you has been injured in an Atlanta auto accident involving a distracted driver, you might be entitled to compensation for your injuries or other loss. Our Atlanta accident attorneys at Montlick and Associates have been representing those who suffer serious injuries throughout all of Georgia and in the Southeast for over thirty years, including but not limited to all smaller cities and rural areas in the state.

No matter where you are located our attorneys are just a phone call away, and we will even come to you. Call us 24 hours a day/7 days a week for your Free Consultation at 1-800-LAW-NEED (1-800-529-6333). You can also visit us online at and use our Free Case Evaluation Form or 24-hour Live Online Chat.


Category: Auto Accidents

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