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Study: Teens more likely to drive while distracted

Some Pennsylvania drivers are wary of sharing the road with teens, especially because they are inexperienced and may have a tendency to drive more erratically. Indeed, the higher car insurance rates paid by teens and their parents reflect their higher likelihood of involvement in a crash. However, inexperienced drivers like teens have to develop their skills by driving, and practicing behind the wheel is often the best way to build their skills. Part of that practice includes learning to observe safe driving practices while operating a vehicle, of course.

One of the most well-known dangers on the road today is distracted driving, when drivers' attention is pulled away to focus on a mobile phone, tablet or other device. According to a study released for Teen Driver Safety Week, researchers found that teens were more likely to drive while distracted than drivers in other demographics. Mobile phones and other electronic devices are a routine part of life for teens, but that does not make them safer behind the wheel. When eyes are pulled from the road to pay attention to a device, drivers can easily lose sight of emerging situations ahead, resulting in a serious car accident.

The study examined 3,400 drivers between 2011 and 2013 by using tracking devices installed in participants' cars. This gave a more intimate view than that presented in police car crash data, which often relies on self-reported accounts of pre-accident behavior. The researchers found that distractions for the eyes, from a crash outside on the road to a video or text on a phone, were more dangerous than other types.

Distracted driving collisions can cause severe injuries and even fatalities. People harmed in car crashes due to someone else's negligence can consult with a personal injury lawyer about options to seek compensation for their damages.

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