Teens aware of dangers of texting, but oblivious to other distractions

Teens admit to changing clothes and doing homework while driving, two activities that can increase their risk of involvement in a car crash.

Teenagers are less likely to text while driving in 2013 than they were in previous years, according to a new study. The lead researcher with the study, an assistant professor of transportation engineering at Oregon State University, reported that 40 percent of teenagers admitted to texting while driving. Although this number is still dangerously high, it is lower than previous studies.

Researchers with the study note that texting while driving awareness campaigns seem to be working. Unfortunately, the study also reports that although teens are more likely to refrain from texting while driving they continue to partake in other dangerous distracting behaviors that can increase their risk of involvement in a car accident.

More on the study

The study reviewed the habits of 3,000 teenage drivers located throughout the country. Researchers with the study noted that anything that diverts a driver's attention from the road for two or more seconds increases the risk of involvement in an accident from 4 to 24 percent. This includes taking time to change clothes or do homework while driving; two risky factors teens that took a part in this study admitted to.

Although many teens are aware of the risks of texting and driving, they are much less aware of the dangers of other distractions. Vehicles have many more distractions now than in previous generations. Features such as satellite radio, GPS navigation systems and other controls can also lead to distraction. The study also found 27 percent of teens changed clothes or shoes while driving.

Those with the study clarify that although other factors can distract a driver, texting remains one of the most dangerous activities. According to one of the researchers, this is due to the fact that texting involves more than one distraction. The person texting is completing a trifecta of dangerous factors: doing, thinking and looking at something other than the road while driving.

Ultimately, the study focused on providing teens with a better understanding of the dangers of distraction. It calls for interactive lessons, including having teens attempt to multitask while on the phone, in an effort to help teens understand the risks of multitasking in any form while driving.

Remedies available for those involved in an accident

Although inexperienced drivers like teenagers are at a higher risk of involvement in an accident, anyone can be the victim of a distracted driving accident. Those who are injured in these crashes are likely eligible to receive compensation to help cover the costs associated with medical treatment, rehabilitation and lost wages. Contact an experienced motor vehicle accident attorney to discuss your options and better protect your legal rights and remedies.

Keywords: personal injury car crash