Driving is difficult to do in and around Boston without any distractions, narrow roads, bicyclists, and rush hour traffic all lead to tough driving conditions. Now add in the fact the the driver may be a teenager and may be on his or her phone – now you have a recipe for disaster.
Smartphones are addictive for all of us, not just teens. But teens have an inherent sense of invincibility that can be especially dangerous when it comes to smartphone use and driving. For starters, many young people simply haven’t been around long enough to see the consequences of risky behavior. They are living in the moment, and can’t fully appreciate how quickly an accident can turn a life upside down. In addition to feeling invincible, kids just don’t have the instincts and experience to handle a potential accident as well as a more experienced driver. Combine all of those factors with the distraction of a smartphone, and it’s no wonder more than 200,000 teens are injured in car accidents annually.
According to studies, smartphone users check their phones an average of 85 times per day. And that includes many of us who grew up without these devices. Today’s teens are attached to their cell phones from a very early age; in many ways, the smartphone has become an extension of the person using it. A report issued by State Farm earlier this year revealed that teens involved in a crash report internet usage while driving, including watching videos, at more than three times the rate of those who are not involved in crashes. In addition to watching videos while driving, the same group reported texting, taking pictures, using social media, and playing games, at twice the rate of others. If you’ve been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact a Boston injury lawyer today.
One-Third of Teen Drivers Report Talking and Texting While Driving
This isn’t a small group of teens who happen to be engaged in dangerous behavior. Research has shown that more than one-third of teen drivers talk and text while driving. Interestingly, the older the teen driver is, the more likely he or she is to engage in such behaviors. Studies also show that teens who engage in texting and driving are also more likely to engage in other risky behaviors, such as not wearing a seat-belt, speeding, and driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol.
As parents, we often feel that much of our children’s behavior when not at home is out of our control. But research doesn’t back this up. Children whose parents model safe driving practices, including not texting or using a cell phone in any way while driving, are significantly more likely to do the same. In addition, it is important to educate your children on the dangers of cell phones and driving. They may roll their eyes and seem to not be paying attention, but if you remind them to buckle up and put their cell phone in the glove box every time they get in the car, they are far more likely to heed your advice. Talk to your kids about driving safety all the time, and practice what you preach!
Altman & Altman, LLP – Boston’s Premier Motor Vehicle Accident Law Firm
If you or a loved one has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, the skilled legal team at Altman & Altman, LLP can help. We have been protecting the rights of accident and injury victims for more than 50 years. If you’ve been injured in any type of accident, you may be eligible to receive compensation for medical expenses, pain and suffering, and lost wages. Our knowledgeable attorneys will help you understand your rights and options before moving forward. Contact Altman & Altman, LLP today for a free and confidential consultation about your case.