Study: distracted driving most widespread among teens

Parents in New Jersey may want to speak with their teens about the dangers of distracted driving. October 20 to 26 has been designated as Teen Driver Safety Week, and in time for this, researchers at Michigan State University have revealed some important facts that they discovered after a distracted driving study.

The study involved 3,400 teens whose driving was monitored from 2011 to 2013. Researchers were able to determine how often teens drove distracted and how often distracted driving contributed to a crash. Many times, it was a phone-related distraction that led to a crash.

In fact, researchers were able to break down the distractions into 60 different categories with cell phone use being divided into activities like talking on the phone, listening, texting, using the browser and surfing the web. There was only one activity linked with a higher crash risk than that of cell phone use: looking at external objects. Billboards and accident scenes on the side of the street are just two common distractions.

It became clear that teens are the most likely of any age group to engage in distracted driving. They also see the highest risk for distracted driving crashes. The results of this study can be considered relatively accurate, unlike previous studies that only had police reports to go by.

When a motor vehicle accident occurs because of a distracted teen driver, an injured victim may want to file a claim against the at-fault party’s auto insurance company. New Jersey being a no-fault state, everyone must file with their own insurance company first before considering a third-party insurance claim. There are restrictions, too, on who can file such a claim. That’s why a victim is advised to see a lawyer before anything else. Legal counsel could be especially helpful in negotiating a fair settlement.