For decades, parents have been advising their teenagers not to drink and drive. Parents of today’s teenagers may not realize that the greatest risk to teenage drivers is not alcohol, but texting. According to reports, there are more teenage deaths caused by texting and driving than by alcohol. The numbers indicate that there were over 3,000 teen deaths associated with texting while driving where there were only 2,700 deaths caused by drunk driving.
Researchers have suggested that the discrepancy may be because teenagers have access to their cell phones 24/7 while they do not always have access to alcohol. The sheer number of times a teen may get behind the wheel with a cell phone outnumbers the number of times a teen may be exposed to drinking and driving. Our Boston car accident lawyers are experienced in the investigation of teen accidents caused by texting and driving.
While teenagers may not be drinking and partying all week, they are likely using their cell phones on a regular basis. Many teens are so dependent on their cell phones that they have been called addicted. They want to check their phone every minute or 30 seconds to respond to a text or update a Facebook status. Both texting and Internet surfing can pose a significant risk to teen drivers, passengers, and other motorists, pedestrians, or cyclists sharing the road.
Teens admit that when their cell phones are “on” it can be difficult to ignore the notifications. Despite clear evidence of the dangers of texting, over 50% of teenagers admit to texting while driving. If you have a teen driver, you should advise them to turn their phones “off,” put them in the glove compartment, or even the trunk, if they are behind the wheel. Cutting off cell phone use may be the best way to avoid the temptation to text and drive.
Teen accidents caused by texting while driving can be devastating. A new promotional series sponsored by the US Department of Transportation and the National Highways Traffic Safety Administration features the stories of families who have lost their sons and daughters to tragic texting while driving accidents. Compared to other age groups and demographis, teens are most vulnerable to the risks of distracted driving and texting while driving.
Any accident that appears to be caused by negligence should be investigated as soon as possible to determine who was at fault. If an accident is the result of texting while driving a driver could be held civilly or criminally responsible for any injuries or deaths. Accident reconstructionists, police reports, and witness statements are all critical to determine how an accident occurred and who was at fault. Individuals and related entities may be targeted in a civil lawsuit to collect full compensation after an accident.
As a driver or parent of a teen, remember that the risks of texting and driving are high. Drivers who use cell phones while behind the wheel are 4 times more likely to be involved in an accident. Remember that it takes an average of 4.6 seconds to send or receive a text. During that time, the average vehicle traveling at 55 mph can travel a full football field. The risks are not worth it: this is enough time and distance to cause a fatal accident.
If you or someone you love was involved in a car accident in Massachusetts, call the Law Offices of Jeffrey S. Glassman for a free and confidential appointment — 1-888-367-2900.
More Blog Entries:
NHTSA Focuses on Distractions Caused by In-Car Technology, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, May 2, 2013
Prom and Graduation Up Massachusetts Auto Accident Risks, Boston Car Accident Lawyer Blog, April 27, 2013