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What teens should know about distracted driving

Distracted driving can be a problem for drivers in Pennsylvania and throughout the country regardless of the driver's age. However, statistics show that it is a major problem for teen drivers. Over 58 percent of accidents involving a teen driver occur because he or she was distracted at the time of the crash. According to a study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, cellphone use was not the main cause of distracted driving.

Instead, teen drivers were most likely to be distracted by other passengers in their vehicles. The study tracked drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 to get their data. It is important to note that distracted driving involves any activity that takes a driver's attention away from the road. Therefore, cellphone use can be a distraction, and this can be true whether the phone is used for talking or any other function.

Distracted driving may increase the likelihood that an individual gets into an accident. It can also lead to higher insurance rates as well as putting other drivers and passengers in danger. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) survey found that 10 percent of teen drivers killed in accidents were distracted. Teen drivers are also more likely to get into an accident compared to drivers in other age groups.

Those who are involved in motor vehicle accidents may experience serious injuries such as broken bones and concussions. A driver who causes an accident might be required to pay for an accident victim's expenses. This is generally true if the driver was negligent in causing it. Negligence may occur when a driver is distracted by a cellphone or for any other reason. Compensation might pay a victim's medical bills, lost wages or lost future earnings related to an accident.

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