Before a teen gets a driver’s license, many can’t wait to get a cell phone. When you combine the two, the results are often deadly.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, NHTSA, the issue of teen distracted driving is far more than a concern; it’s an epidemic. In 2011 alone, 387,000 people were seriously injured in accidents caused by teen distracted driving; 3,331 people died in those accidents.
Now, a new technology announced at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting may be the answer to the prayers of many parents throughout the United States. Attendees of the conferences learned about the results of a study paid for by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.) The study revealed that car crashes are the top cause of teen deaths in the US and that using a mobile device, such as a cell phone, increases the chance of a crash by 24 times.
Further, the study examined how placing cameras in vehicles as well as a device that blocks phone calls – both incoming and outcoming — might reduce accident likeliness. The idea is that if cameras are put inside cars, teens would be less likely to engage in risky behavior such as texting and driving, talking on the phone, and other poor driving behaviors such as hard braking, speeding and taking corners too fast. Researchers conducted a test with 29 teen-agers in St. Louis from the University of Washington. The study revealed that the teens involved in the test did engage in the risky behavior less often citing the interventions, as compared with the group studied without the cameras and call-blocking devices installed in the vehicles.
All but two of the 40 United States have texting and driving bans for all drivers — not just teenagers. Only Montana and Arizona have not yet passed these safety laws. New Jersey, of course, issues stiff penalties to drivers who get charged and convicted of distracted driving. However, no jail time or license suspension could ever been as harsh as having to deal with loss of life.
Tell your teens early and often that distracted driving kills. Turn the phone off and pay attention to the roadway because most accidents are caused by “the other driver.”
If you or someone you love has suffered injuries, or worse, in an accident, please contact the compassionate, experienced personal injury and wrongful death lawyers at Lombardi and Lombardi. We will fight for maximum damages for your family.