A study just published in the journal Pediatrics shows that close to 50% of all U.S. high school students text and drive. This extremely dangerous habit is known to increase the risk of fatal and non-fatal car accidents significantly in adults. With teens – the risk is even higher.
The study looked at responses from 8,500 high school students who were asked in a national survey if they texted while driving in the last month. Forty-four percent said they had done so on one or more days and 25% of that number said they text while driving on a daily basis. Male teenage drivers were the worst offenders as were older teens.
Teens who reported texting while driving also admitted to other risky behaviors including driving under the influence or driving without a safety belt. It is a known fact that texting while driving can impair a driver’s abilities much like alcohol.
A number of national experts have expressed concern about the large percentage of teens texting and have asked parents to get more involved in supervising their teenage drivers.
Here are a few suggestions as to how you can help keep your teenager safe:
- Never use your cell phone while driving for any purpose. Children learn from the example you set.
- Explicitly set rules about driving and cell phone use – with penalties if those rules are ever violated.
- Explain to your teenager that cell phone use and driving can be a deadly combination – putting them and their young friends at grave risk.
- Give them details. Help them understand that taking their eyes off the road even for a few seconds can cause a car accident. And explain to them that in addition to hitting another car – they might hit a pedestrian, a cyclist, or swerve and hit a tree or guardrail.
Now, what can you do to protect yourself from drivers who text?
When you drive – wherever you drive, watch carefully for what is called “car drift”. Car drift is when the car ahead of you or coming towards you is meandering on the road and not holding a straight or steady line. A number of things can cause drift. The two most common are impairment from alcohol or drugs – and texting/cell phone use. If you see a car drifting, be prepared to take immediate defensive action – either by creating space with the car in front of you or by pulling off to the side of the road if the offending car is moving in your direction. You can often tell if the cause of drift is from cell phone use by looking at the other driver’s head. If he or she is looking down rather than at the road in front of them – they are likely using a cell phone.
If you or a loved one are ever a victim of a car accident caused by a careless driver in Connecticut, it is important to gather all the information you can and then call a qualified Connecticut car accident lawyer. A knowledgeable Connecticut car accident lawyer can help to ensure that your rights are protected.
RisCassi & Davis has handled thousands of car accident cases in Connecticut over our more than 55 years serving the people of this state. Our car accident lawyers have received significant local and national recognition for our handling of car accident cases including:
- Top listing in “The Best Lawyers in America” and “Best Law Firms” and much more (for more on our honors and awards, click here).
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