Learning to drive is a milestone in the life for every teenager. Not only does it mean a considerable amount of freedom and no longer being stuck having to ask parents for a ride, but with it also comes a considerable amount of responsibility. However, with the lives of the average teenager being what they are, there are also some considerable distractions that come with it. Distracted teenagers learning to drive can, in the best of cases, be a harrowing experience, and at the worst, be outright fatal. And the predominate cause for these distractions? Cell phones and other electronic devices. In the average time it takes to respond to a text, a vehicle can travel the length of a football field. All it takes is for a teen to take their eyes off the road for that length of time for disaster to strike. According to CBSNews.com, a new study released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, has come to the conclusion that beyond any other form of distraction, electronic devices (mostly cell phones) cause the largest amount of distraction for teenage drivers.
It’s important to remember that when your teen takes to the road by themselves, they don’t have the years of experience to draw from the way that you would. Taking the time to talk to them about potential distractions could mean the difference between coming home safe, or the panicked phone call from the side of the road saying they just got into an accident. While cell phones and other electronic devices are the biggest culprits, they are by no means the only ones. Eating, personal grooming, and horseplay with friends can also cause enough of a distraction to cause an accident. Talk to your child about the potential for danger on the road, especially when they are out driving by themselves for the first time.
It’s Not Just Teens
Unfortunately, teenagers aren’t the only ones to blame for being distracted by cell phones and other electronic devices while being on the road. There are a number of adults who are just as guilty of not being attentive when driving. Even talking on the phone can serve as a distraction as it takes a hand from the wheel, but there are a number of adults who are texting, checking social media, and even taking pictures on their phones while driving. This sort of distraction has lead to an increase in the number of not only car accidents, but fatal accidents over the past few years.
Your Teen Might Not be at Fault
While the potential for distractions is very real, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your teen is at fault. If your teen has been injured during a car accident and it wasn’t their fault, it’s important that you seek legal counsel. Injuries sustained during a car accident are hopefully either non-existent or superficial, but that’s not always the case. Speak to a personal injury attorney in case of injury for a consultation regarding your case. With the help of an experienced legal attorney, you might be able to get help covering your teens medical expenses, or even your own.
Michael Schreyer is a personal injury attorney in Maryland and is a partner in the firm of Alpert Schreyer, LLC. He is an experienced personal injury attorney, serving the Maryland and Washington, DC area and providing information and advice on his law blog at dcmdlaw.com.