Texting and driving is one of the main causes of car accidents. In regard to distracted driving, texting is right at the top of the list. Teen texting and driving is among the worst. After all, we all know how attached teens are to their smartphones.
Texting and driving among teens is a serious issue, although teenagers are unaware of the real dangers.
Although we have all used our phones while driving, TeenSafe reports that teenagers are among the biggest offenders. This is a scary thought for parents thinking about giving their teen the keys to the family vehicle. When you combine a teen’s lack of experience with distracted driving, it makes for a very hazardous mix.
Experts say it takes a distracted driver just three seconds to cause a car crash. With teens checking their phones regularly, the statistics aren’t very good.
Here are some teen driver stats, according to TeenSafe:
– 20% of teenagers and 10% of parents say they have engaged in multi-message text conversations while driving.
– When a teen is driving with another passenger, the chance of a fatal accident is doubled. If there are two or more passengers, the chances increase by five times.
– 77 percent of adults and 55 percent of a teen drivers think they can easily handle texting while driving.
– Drivers being distracted or not paying attention is attributed for 80 percent of car accidents.
Driving while texting slows down the brain.
Despite what we may believe, the human brain is only designed to perform one task at a time. Teenagers believe they can multitask, but they are wrong. When you try to perform two things at once, such as texting while driving, your response time is slowed.
It takes a person longer to process what’s going around them when their reaction time is slower, as studies show. In fact, when a driver is distracted by their phone, their brain is slowed down by around 33%. So, when you are texting and driving, you cannot react as fast to their surroundings, making you that much more vulnerable to getting into a car accident.
Is It Worse to Drink and Drive?
While most believe drinking and driving would be worse than texting and driving, this isn’t always the case. One study shows that distracted drivers had a 35% reduction in response time, while intoxicated drivers decreased by just 12%. Distracted drivers were also more likely than intoxicated drivers to alter speeds, slip into another lane, or suddenly slam on their brakes. It’s actually more dangerous to text and drive than to drive drunk.
Parental Advice for Teenage Drivers
The most important thing a parent of a teen can do is to talk to them about driving and texting. It most states it’s against the law, so share this with them. Talking on their phone may not be illegal, but you should encourage them to refrain from this, as it can distract them.
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Here’s a few ideas for parents to help in preventing a fatal car accident:
- Be a role model. Under no circumstances should you text and drive in your own car. If your teen sees you doing it, they will believe it is okay to do it as well.
- Alternatives to texting and driving should be suggested. Assigning a designated texter in the car when a teen is driving, putting the phone in the glove box, so that it is out of reach while driving, or, if they must use the phone, instructing them to call rather than text!
- Set consequences. Take it seriously. If you see your teen texting and driving, hold them responsible. This can help deter this behavior in the future.
Have You Been In A Car Accident and Need an Attorney?
If you or a loved one has been in a car accident and you believe or know the other driver was texting, you may need to consult a car accident attorney.
If the other party was distracted and caused the accident, consulting with legal counsel is a good idea. You may be entitled to a settlement to cover medical bills, lost wages and suffering.