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Teens, cell phones and fatal motor vehicle accidents

Most Colorado teens cannot seem to wait to get their driver's licenses, and most of their parents would not mind waiting a little longer. Safety is a big issue for new drivers since they lack the experience of those who have been driving for some time. This makes teens who use cell phones while they drive at even more of a risk of being involved in fatal motor vehicle accidents.

Teens are warned about the dangers of using their cell phones to talk or text while they drive, but they tend to do it anyway. Their risk of being involved in an accident increases by at least four times. In approximately 75 percent of the crashes teens are involved in, distraction is a critical factor, along with speed and failing to continuously scan the roadway for hazards.

In fact, approximately 58 percent of the accidents that involve a driver between the ages of 16 and 19 involve some sort of distraction. Texting while driving takes a driver's attention off the road for what might not seem like a long time, but during those crucial seconds, the landscape around the vehicle can change drastically. Even experienced drivers might have trouble avoiding a crash when they return their attentions to the road.

Under these conditions, fatal motor vehicle accidents involving teens are preventable. The families of their victims retain the right to file wrongful death claims. In addition to gathering evidence relating to the crash, what parties could be held liable for damages also needs to be determined. If the evidence shows that a teen negligently failed to pay attention while driving due to using a cell phone, a Colorado civil court might award damages to the victim's surviving family members.

Source: teendriversource.org, "Cell Phone Use General Statistics", Accessed on Feb. 5, 2017

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