Authorities say that road accidents are the primary cause of death among teenagers in the United States. And while distraction can cause even the most experienced drivers to lose control of their vehicles, the risk is even higher when an inexperienced teenager is behind the wheel.
The definition and causes of distracted driving
Distracted driving occurs any time a driver engages in an activity that draws attention away from safely operating the vehicle. Along with texting while driving, a host of other distractions are common among teenage drivers. The range of activities that typically distract teens includes:
- Mobile devices — The dangers are not limited to texting and talking on cell phones but also include searching the internet.
- Social media — Teenagers sometimes stream live videos, use social media and take selfies instead of focusing on driving.
- Videos and movies — Entertainment devices in cars allow drivers to watch movies and videos, taking their eyes off of their immediate surroundings.
- Grooming — It is not uncommon to see drivers combing their hair, applying makeup and other grooming activities while trying to maintain control of their vehicles.
- Eating and drinking — Trying to navigate a vehicle while holding a burger in one hand and a beverage in the other often leaves a driver with only one or two fingers available to grip the steering wheel.
- Reading — Whether a driver reads a textbook, magazine, emails, directions or anything else, it can be dangerous for anyone in the vicinity.
- Passengers — When teenage drivers have their peers as passengers, the potential for distraction increases dramatically. Talking, dancing and other distracting activities have been known to lead to accidents.
Even when distraction was obviously the cause of an accident, crash victims still encounter obstacles when try to get compensation for medical expenses and other costs resulting from the accident.
If you have questions about obtaining full and fair compensation after a crash with a distracted driver, talk to an experienced personal injury attorney before you talk to the insurance company. You may be entitled to significantly more than the insurance company initially offers.