Throughout the school year, teens and their parents look forward to summer vacation. Free from the responsibilities of homework and class schedules, young people have time to hang out with friends and engage in summer activities popular in the Carolinas. Summer jobs and trips to the beach or the pool can keep your teen busy. More free time also mean an increase in the amount of time your teen may spend behind the wheel, or as a passenger in friends’ vehicles.
Unfortunately, there is typically a spike in car crashes and injuries involving teens during the months of June, July, and August. According to a June 2016 news release from the American Automobile Association (AAA), the period from Memorial Day to Labor Day is known as the ‘100 Deadliest Days’ for teen drivers due to the increase in car accidents and injuries that occur during the summer months.
Top Driving Distractions for Teens
The AAA states that the odds of a teen driver being involved in an accident during these months is nearly 20 percent greater than at other times of the year. Roughly 10 people die each day during the summer as the result of teen driving accidents. Research conducted by the AAA’s Foundation for Traffic Safety indicates that close to 60 percent of these accidents are the result of distracted driving.
The Foundation lists the top driving distractions for teens:
- Talking to or being distracted by other passengers in the vehicle: Responsible for 15 percent of teen distracted driving accidents;
- Talking, texting, taking photos, or engaging in other activities on a cellphone: Responsible for 12 percent of teen distracted driving accidents;
- Being distracted by or looking at something in the vehicle, such as a car radio, CD player or navigation system: Responsible for 11 percent of teen distracted driving accidents.
AAA states that texting in particular is a problem with teenaged drivers. As many as half of all teen drivers admit to texting behind the wheel. In this case, the risk for hurting themselves or their passengers in an accident is 23 times greater than for other drivers.
Why Distracted Driving Is So Dangerous
What is it that makes distracted driving in general, and texting behind the wheel in particular, so dangerous for teens and other drivers? According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), distracted driving involves three separate forms of distraction:
- Visual distraction, requiring you to take your eyes off the road;
- Manual distraction, which requires that you to remove your hands from the wheel;
- Cognitive distraction, which involves concentrating on other matters instead of focusing on the task of driving.
Texting behind the wheel is particularly dangerous, as it involves all three of the above. The more times your teen engages in distracting behavior while driving, the greater the likelihood of being involved in an accident.
Reach Out to Us for Professional Help
If you or someone you care about is injured as the result of a car accident caused by another driver, contact the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, P.C. today. Our experienced car accident lawyers provide the aggressive legal representation you need. We will seek full compensation for your losses including compensation for medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering. We are licensed to serve clients throughout the Carolinas, with offices in Hickory and Charlotte, NC, as well as in Columbia, SC. We also serve Gastonia, Asheville, Statesville, and Boone. Get the help you need and call or contact our office online today for a free consultation.