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New Study: Teen Drivers and Cell Phone Habits

Posted on in Car Accidents

Wisconsin accident attorney, injury liability, Wisconsin car crash lawyer,Each year, more than 243,000 teens visit emergency rooms for injuries they have sustained during an automobile accident. Another 2,000 die during crashes,which makes motor vehicle accidents the number one killer for 16- to 19-year-olds. Part of the problem is their lack of experience behind the wheel, but studies have shown that the biggest issue relates to cell phone use while driving. Researchers recently spoke with several teens to understand why.

Newest Investigation Prompted by Concerning CDC Study

For years, adults have been trying to get the message across to teens: do not text and drive. Yet, a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that nearly 45 percent of teens text were willing to admit that they had texted and driven within the previous 30 days. That had a few other researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia concerned, so they decided to delve a little deeper.

To better understand the logic behind cell phone use while driving, the researchers spoke with 30 different teens. Placed into one of seven focus groups, the teens were of both genders, aged between 16 and 18, and had been licensed in the state of Philadelphia for a year or less. Most admitted they knew it was unsafe to text and drive, but many still admitted to doing it anyway. The key, though, was context.

Clarifying the Message May Be Key to Prevention

According to the study authors, many of the teens seemed to be under the assumption that texting while driving only applied if they were driving down the road while writing a text message. What they seemed to misunderstand was that even texting at a red light constituted texting while driving, as does simply reading a text message because both actions take their attention off the road.

Parents and Close Friends Cause Most Infractions

Even more interesting is how, despite the message and encouragement parents may give to their teens, they are the most likely to get a text or an answered call when their teen is behind the wheel. Close friends came in a close second place as far as who teens were willing to message while driving, and most often it had to do with letting friends or family know they were nearly at their destination or were on their way.

Researchers say that these habits reveal a very important discussion point for parents; teens should be made aware that they do not have to respond, even to parents, when driving. An agreed-upon response after the car has stopped can be developed to let parents know they weren’t being ignored; their teen was just being safe. Tempted teens may even benefit from turning their phone off or placing it in the back seat. And, of equal importance, parents should model the exact same behavior for their teens.

Has Your Teen Been Injured in an Accident?

Even the most cautious teen can find themselves in an automobile accident. If it happens to yours, it is critical that you seek assistance in your personal injury case. Insurance companies, who only have to pay out if your teen is less than 50 percent at fault for the accident, will attempt to push as much blame onto your teen as possible.

The skilled Milwaukee automobile accident attorneys at Gimbel, Reilly, Guerin & Brown, LLP protect your teen’s rights. Dedicated and experienced, they provide the aggressive representation and fine-tuned investigation skills needed to best represent your case. Schedule your consultation and fight for the compensation you and your teen deserve. Call 414-271-1440 today.




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