Many teenagers in California long and plan for the day they will earn their driver’s license, starting years before they are eligible. However, many teens may not fully realize the responsibility they are undertaking when they finally earn their license. Unfortunately, some may give in to the temptation of distractions while they are driving, often placing themselves and countless others at risk. A recent study has even shown that distractions are a much more prevalent cause of teen car accidents than originally estimated.

The study has been described as one of the most comprehensive ones conducted in regard to teens and distracted driving. Prior to it, estimates regarding the number of accidents caused by a distracted teen driver were based upon police reports. They suggested that distractions were only considered a factor in approximately 14 percent of teen accidents.

In the most recent study, researchers reviewed the six seconds before a crash that were recorded on an event recorder in the vehicle. As a result of this analysis, they noted that 58 percent of teen accidents were caused by a distraction in the car. The most prevalent distraction was other passengers, followed by cell phones and looking at something inside or outside of the vehicle. Music, grooming and reaching for something were also listed as causal factors in an accident involving a teenage driver.

While a driver may think that these actions are relatively innocuous, even a split moment of inattention can have serious consequences. Such distractions cause serious, often fatal, car accidents. Many people in California who have been impacted as a result of another’s negligence have pursued claims for financial relief through a civil court proceeding. A successfully presented case often led to an award of damages to cover the financial and emotional ramifications of an accident caused by a distracted driver.

Source: wsls.com, “AAA: “Distracted and teen crashes even worse than we thought”“, March 25, 2015