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Study shows that more teens are distracted when driving

For parents who have teen drivers, they are likely worried about their child’s safety; especially if they are a new driver. They may worry about them driving too fast, making poor decisions, or being struck by a drunk driver. But young drivers’ inexperience is likely the reason why parents are worried, because inexperience commonly leads teens to make poor decisions about safety.

Texting while driving is one of these common, yet poor decisions. While teens may confess that they may not text behind the wheel or engage in distracted driving practices, a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests otherwise. Researchers found that distractions played a part in more than half of all crashes involving teen drivers.

Researchers analyzed almost 1,700 videos created by dashboard cameras that captured the moments before a crash involving a teen driver. The videos showed teens on their cell phones, talking with passengers, sending text messages and reviewing them, and even looking for something inside the vehicle.

The study was groundbreaking because it was the first time that researchers had access to actual videos that showed what actually occurs before a crash, instead of written answers or testimony where drivers may not be as forthcoming. 

Nevertheless, it exemplifies the need for teen drivers to use reasonable care while behind the wheel. This means that when driving, they must refrain from using cell phones, sending or reading text messages or engaging in distracting behavior. If they fail to use reasonable care by engaging in such behavior, and an accident occurs because of it, they could be held liable. 

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