Distracted driving a major danger for teens

Teen drivers in New York and throughout the country may be at a greater risk of being in a motor vehicle accident than other age groups. Around 3,000 teenagers die each year in traffic accidents, and they die at a rate that is nearly three times that of other age groups.

Furthermore, traffic accident fatalities are on the rise. After dropping steadily from 2007 to 2014, they showed an increase of 7.2 percent in 2015 over the previous year. Preliminary figures from 2016 show that the upward trend is likely to continue despite safer vehicles and increased awareness about the importance of seat belts and the dangers of driving under the influence. Experts believe distracted driving may play a big part. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration showed that the biggest increase in causes of fatal accidents was driving while distracted at 8.8 percent, but experts believe this number may be even higher. According to the American Automobile Association Foundation for Traffic Safety, over half of serious motor vehicle accidents involving teens may be due to distracted driving.

Adults can model good behavior for teens that may discourage distracted driving. For example, they can avoid using their cellphones while driving and can encourage teens to speak up when they are in the car with a driver who is behaving recklessly.

Texting and driving and cellphone conversations are examples of distracting activities that may lead to motor vehicle accidents. When a teenage driver who is engaged in such behavior causes an accident, people who have been injured might want to meet with an attorney to see how they can seek compensation for their losses. If the teen was driving a car that belonged to his or her parents, the attorney might use the family car doctrine as the basis for filing a personal injury lawsuit naming the parents as additional defendants.

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