Colorado parents often experience anxiety, pride and trepidation when their teens begin to drive. Teenagers' inexperience behind the wheel, potential distractions and other factors make them vulnerable to serious or fatal motor vehicle accidents. It turns out that teens are easily distracted while driving. In fact, in 2014, approximately 10 percent of all fatal crashes involving a teenage driver also involved a distraction, according to government data.
According to the American Automobile Association Foundation, that percentage is low. AAA conducted an earlier study whose data revealed the actual amount was around four times higher. That study spanned a time frame from Aug. 2007 through July 2013. That same study was updated to add and include data from Aug. 2013 through April 2015.
The results may frighten many Colorado parents. The expanded study found that somewhere closer to 59 percent of accidents involving teens also involved a distraction such as cell phone use or talking to passengers. Unfortunately, the problem only increased as the years went by in the study.
As AAA pointed out in the government findings, the actual figures regarding cell phone use while driving are probably low. Parents and other educators are encouraged to stress the importance of not using cell phones while driving or participating in any other activity that removes a teen's attention from the roadway. Of course, teenagers are not the only ones allowing distractions to take their attention off the roadway, and parents may help their children by leading by example.
If a teen is a passenger in a crash in which another teen was distracted at the time, grounds for legal redress may exist when serious injuries or deaths occur. No parent should have to outlive a child, and filing a civil claim could help achieve some sense of justice and closure, along with financial restitution for monetary losses associated with the accident. As is the case in other serious or fatal motor vehicle accidents, a court may award damages if negligence is successfully documented through the appropriate evidence.
Source: aaafoundation.org, "Teen Driver Safety", Accessed on June 11, 2017