Are Teen Drivers More Likely to Drive Distracted?

Individuals of all ages engage in distracted driving.  It is dangerous, illegal, and can be fatal. Unfortunately, it is a common problem with teenage drivers.  

There are reasons teenagers are more likely to engage in this behavior.  First, even the most mature teenager is not an adult. As teens are primarily oriented to the present, they are not as likely to think ahead to the consequences.  Teens can read about accidents caused by distracted driving, yet insist it can never happen to them.

Second, teens are new drivers who lack the experience needed for safe driving.  When it comes to driving, they are still in the learning stage. Many cannot understand that certain behaviors are dangerous when they are driving a car.

Distracted Driving and Teens

A cell phone is a common distraction.  Young drivers may see no reason to turn their phones off when they start up their cars.  Calls, texts, and social media can be irresistible to young drivers.

Teens may order fast food at a drive-through window, and eat or drink while they are driving.  They may use the rear-view mirror while combing their hair or applying make-up. A young driver may be focusing on loud music, or talking to his friends in the car.

When a teen drives distracted, an accident can occur before he can stop it.  He may drive off the road, hit a pedestrian, or crash into another vehicle. The teen may not see the danger in time, or may not be able to react quickly enough to prevent an accident.

Distracted Driving and Accidents

Teens who drive distracted have a much higher risk of accidents than young people who drive safely and responsibly.  6 out of 10 crashes that involve teenage drivers involve distracted driving.

Some of these issues are addressed by state law.  Teens who have a learner’s permit or an intermediate license are prohibited from using cell phones for any purpose while driving.  During his first 6 months behind the wheel, a teen cannot have a passenger under 20 years of age in the car if they are not family members.

As teenagers do occasionally break the rules, and there are other sources of distracted driving, even a new driver may need a car accident lawyer in Spokane.  Even if the accident did not cause any injuries or fatalities, it is essential to call an attorney immediately.

Parents and Distracted Driving

A parent who wants a teen to never engage in distracted driving should set a good example.  Show your teen it is dangerous by never doing it yourself.

Prepare a safe driving contract, and discuss it with your son or daughter.  Set clear penalties for breaking the rules, and follow through with the agreement.  Impress on your teen that driving is a privilege, not a right, and privileges carry responsibilities.  One of these responsibilities is to not drive while distracted.

If an accident does occur, though, call a lawyer.  Your teen needs legal advice.

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