In the U.S, eight people die every day because of a distracted driver. While distracted driving affects everyone, teenagers between 15 and 19 years old have a higher likelihood of distracted driving.
What is distracted driving?
Any action that takes your eyes, hands or mind off of driving is distracted driving. For example, if you send a text message, use the navigation system, make a call on your phone or eat while driving, you may endanger yourself or others.
In 2019, a survey revealed that 39% of high school drivers texted or emailed while driving in the past 30 days. The survey also revealed students with high grades and lower grades have the same likelihood. Teens who drive while distracted also have a higher likelihood of other reckless behaviors, such as driving without a seat belt and drinking while driving.
Why do teens act recklessly?
According to Psychology Today, teenagers may have a natural inclination to reckless behavior. Studies show teenagers want to fit into a social group and this need overrides most other inclinations. Additionally, teenagers do not have the same brain development as their adult counterparts. Young people tend to encourage others in their age group to engage in more risky behavior. In fact, you may notice that teens drive safely when alone but tend to allow distractions to enter the equation when a friend shares the passenger seat.
To help combat distracted driving, talk to teens about the danger by sharing statistics and stories. Some young people may react positively to a plan between parents and teens. The parent sets the rules of the road for the family and everyone follows them. If you have been injured by a distracted driver, talk to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible to discuss your options.