Teen Drivers More Likely to Talk, Text and Get Into Accidents

The U.S. Department of Transportation is showing no signs of letting up in its extended campaign to make teens aware of the danger that arises from distracted driving. The campaign recently joined forces to conduct a survey with the Consumer Reports National Research Center and found some distressing facts:

  • Over 60 percent of drivers under 30 have used cell phones in the last 30 days while driving, and 30 percent texted and drove, according to the survey respondents
  • Approximately 70 percent of teens did not think it was very dangerous to use a cell phone and drive
  • Almost 95 percent of respondents reported seeing drivers use a mobile device in the last month

Car accident fatalities are the leading cause of death for teens, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In fact, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, teen drivers are three times more likely to have an accident that causes a fatality than older drivers. The NHTSA notes that inexperience and immaturity, combined with factors such as distracted driving and drinking and driving, are all causes for the increased likelihood of tragedy on the road.

Distracted Driving Causes Accidents

At any given time during normal driving hours, about 800,000 drivers use a hand-held cell phone, the NHTSA reports. Combine that with a University of Utah study that found drivers talking on a cell phone have reaction times similar to those with a blood alcohol content (BAC) of .08, and the reason for the Department of Transportation's extended campaign becomes clear. In fact, over half a million people were injured in 2009 in crashes relating to distracted driving, according to the NHTSA, and 5,500 were killed.

If you have been injured in a car accident, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you hold a texting or other distracted driver accountable for his or her negligence.