Summer is just around the corner, and with it, the end of the school year. That means that in addition to residents running errands, commuters on their way to work, and vacationers and daytrippers exploring all the state has to offer, more teen drivers will also be on the road. Under Georgia’s graduated driver’s license program, teens as young as 15 years can get behind the wheel, and several studies have shown these younger drivers are the ones most at risk for serious car accidents.
One of the reasons teens may be more likely to be involved in car crashes has been suggested by research from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), which reports that the teen brain is still actively developing. Hormonal changes and other growth-related changes that effect both emotional response and impulse control are still being formed, resulting in “a tendency to act on impulse – without regard for risk.”
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Distraction is also a serious problem among teens – even more serious than previously believed, according to a recent study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study – one of the most comprehensive to date – reviewed 1,700 videos of teen drivers to assess their behaviors while driving. What the study’s researchers found was that 60 percent of moderate-to-severe crashes involving teens also involve distracted driving behaviors, including 89 percent of accidents involving going off the road and more than three-quarters of rear-end collisions. Earlier research from the National Highway Traffic Safety Association and based on police report data estimated the risk from distracted driving at only 14 percent among teen drivers.
The videos used in the study show the six-second interval leading up to a crash, which helped researchers identify specific behaviors of distracted driving most common among teens. These included:
· interacting with passengers (15 percent)
· using a cell phone (12 percent)
· looking at something inside the vehicle (10 percent)
· looking at something outside the vehicle (9 percent)
· singing or reacting to music (8 percent)
· grooming tasks (6 percent)
· reaching for something (6 percent)
The study also revealed that teens using cell phones to call, text or for other uses had their eyes off the road for an average of 4.1 seconds of the six seconds leading up to a crash. Even more alarming, teens using phones failed to react at all during more than half of the rear-end collisions, meaning the crashes occurred without an attempt to brake or swerve.
Teen Crashes: You Need a Skilled Marietta Car Accident Attorney
National data show teens have more accidents than any other age group in the U.S., with nearly a million crashes reported to the police in 2013. These accidents aren’t just devastating for teens and their families – they can be devastating for driver and passengers of other vehicles involved in the crashes. Even a minor crash can cause considerable injuries and property damage. And having a top Acworth car accident lawyer is an important part of protecting your rights.
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If you’ve been involved in any type of car accident, the Law Offices of Roger Ghai can help. With years of experience handling all types of vehicle accident issues, Ghai is recognized as a leading car accident attorney in Marietta, which means you can feel confident your rights are being protected. To schedule a consultation and learn how he can help you, call 770-792-1000 today. And if you’re a parent of a teen driver, visit www.TeenDriving.AAA.com to learn about ways to help your teen be a safer driver.