Are teen drivers more likely to be careless behind the wheel? | Loughlin FitzGerald, P.C.
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Are teen drivers more likely to be careless behind the wheel?

Operating a motor vehicle is a privilege that carries major responsibilities for drivers in New Haven, and throughout Connecticut. Taking your focus off of the road and the task of driving, even briefly, can result in a collision. According to the U.S. government’s website for distracted driving, there were approximately 421,000 people injured in car accidents involving distracted drivers in 2012. In general, all drivers are prone to distractions while on the road. However, a recent study has shown that teenage motorists may be more likely to be careless drivers.

Researchers from the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute conducted a study to examine the prevalence of distracted driving among newly licensed drivers. It also looked at the associated risk of such behaviors on motor vehicle accidents. For the study, researchers compared the results of two prior studies. One followed 42 teen drivers who had received their licenses just prior to the 18-month study. The second followed 100 drivers who had an average of 20 years of experience driving. For both studies, participants were monitored by cameras and sensors as they drove. The data and videos were reviewed to identify distracted behaviors before or at the time of auto accidents or near-collisions.

Based on the study’s findings, it appears that teen drivers are more likely to become careless as they get more comfortable behind the wheel of a car. At the start of the study, data showed that many teens kept their focus primarily on the task of driving. By the end of the study, however, the teen drivers were engaged in secondary tasks more often than the experienced motorists. Furthermore, the researchers concluded that distracted driving, particularly for teen drivers, increases the risk of a crash, or near-crash, USA Today reported. This is especially true when the novice drivers are using portable electronic devices, such as handheld cell phones. As a result of such collisions, the teen drivers themselves, as well as other drivers and passengers could suffer serious injury, or death.

Although the study discussed in this post found that it is more likely for teenage drivers to become careless behind the wheel, each individual case is unique. As such, the information in this post should be considered as general information and not taken as professional legal advice.

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