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Over half of teen car accidents linked to distractions

Law Offices of James M. Curran

Parents in New Jersey teaching their teenagers to drive should warn their children about distracted driving. A study prepared by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that 58 percent of teen car accidents resulted from distractions.

Working with researchers from the University of Iowa, the foundation studied data collected by in-vehicle video surveillance systems. After looking at almost 1,700 crash videos, the researchers tallied the distractions. The most common reasons teen drivers looked away from the road were interactions with passengers and usage of cell phones, accounting for 15 percent and 12 percent of crashes, respectively. The crashes tallied for the study were considered moderate to severe.

Additionally, 10 percent of crashes happened because the driver was viewing something inside the vehicle. Another 9 percent resulted from the driver looking at something outside the window. Music consumed teenagers’ attention in 8 percent of accidents when they were singing or moving to the music. Personal grooming caused 6 percent of wrecks, as did reaching for something inside the car.

Teenagers experience more car accidents than other age groups. In 2013, police reports of crashes with people between ages 16 and 19 totaled approximately 963,000. These reports accounted for 383,000 injuries and 2,865 fatalities.

A distracted driver can increase the chance of a car crash. When injuries result from a crash caused by an inattentive driver, that person might be held responsible for victims’ medical bills and other expenses, such as lost wages, with a personal injury lawsuit. Injured victims sometimes consult an attorney when preparing these claims for damages. An attorney might help a victim review the evidence to see if it shows negligence, such as texting while driving or speeding, that would support a lawsuit.

Source: AAA, “Distraction and Teen Crashes: Even Worse than We Thought,” Michael Green, March 25, 2015

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