Nowadays, teenagers are attached to their phones. With the technology these days, it’s like a hand-held computer. You can do virtually anything with the touch of a button. Phones can not only make phone calls and text message, but they can access the internet, communicate through social networks, play games and much more. Not one of those things is beneficial when your teenage driver is behind the wheel of a motor vehicle. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, a recent study into teen drivers discovered this technology is the number one distraction, significantly increasing their risks for an accident in North Carolina.
The AAA study looked at the driving habits of 50 North Carolina families. After searching through six months and 8,000 clips of video from in-car cameras, researchers concluded that nearly 10 percent of the time teen drivers were using electronic devices at the wheel. They were using their phones and taking their eyes off of the wheel more than any other kind of distraction. There were a lot of other distracting activities recorded, too!
Our Waynesville injury lawyers understand that teen drivers already face some of the highest risks for accidents simply because of their inexperience behind the wheel. This study illustrated that female teens were the worst of the bunch, engaging in activities with electronics nearly 10 percent of the time they were behind the wheel. Male teenagers logged less than 5 percent of their time behind the wheel engaging in these distractions, according to Market Watch.
Carol Ronis, AAA’s senior communications manager, said that this study was so important because car accidents continue to be the number one cause of death for this young age group. As a matter of fact, teens are four times more likely to get into an accident than adult drivers.
“Continue the conversation with your child. Set a good example. They are always watching and modeling our behaviors,” said Ronis.
She’s right! Parents need to stay involved in their teen’s driving career long after they’ve received their unrestricted driver’s license. Teens still need to be reminded of the proper, and safe, driving behaviors. Consider enacting your own household driving rules. Create a parent-teen driving contract to lay out the rules and consequences for breaking these rules.
According to the Governors Highway Safety Administration (GHSA), drivers in North Carolina who are under the age of 18 are prohibited from using a hand-held cell phone while driving. All drivers in the state are prohibited from text messaging behind the wheel. Just because these laws are on the books, doesn’t mean that teens will listen or even that law enforcement will enforce the rules. Make sure there’s a clear understanding and expectation of safe driving habits within your household. Set rules, enforce them and help to keep your teen safe.
If you or your teen driver has been involved in an accident, contact the North Carolina injury lawyers at Grimes Teich Anderson LLP to discuss your rights. Call 1.800.533.6845. No Attorney Fees Until You’ve Been Paid.
More Blog Entries:
Cell Phone Ban Would Reduce Risk of North Carolina Trucking Accidents, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 21, 2011
Trucking Accident in Columbus, North Carolina Causes Multi-Car Pileup, North Carolina Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, October 11, 2011