Teens know distracted driving increases risk of North Carolina car accident … they just don’t listen

Teen drivers understand distracted driving habits put them at substantially higher risk for being involved in a North Carolina car accident … but they continue to text message and use cell phones behind the wheel and to engage in other dangerous driving practices, the USA Today reported.

Our North Carolina Car Accident Lawyers Blog reported earlier this month on the upcoming distracted driving summit planned in Washington. Lawmakers hope to pressure states without a text messaging ban into passing such a law. Federal authorities are also concerned about the patchwork of legislation motorists face. For example, North Carolina forbids texting and driving, while no such prohibition exists in South Carolina.
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Nationwide, an estimated 6,000 motorists are killed each year and 500,000 are injured in accidents caused by distracted driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Only speeding and drunk driving contribute to more highway deaths. And the federal government reports that traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers ages 15 to 20.

“Teens do continue to drive distracted even when they recognize the dangers,” says William Van Tassel, manager of AAA’s driver training programs. “Driving is the first real adult responsibility, but let’s face it, they’re still teens whose brains aren’t fully developed.”

The survey by Seventeen Magazine found that 84 percent of young drivers are aware of the risks of distracted driving, yet 86 percent admitted to engaging in some form of such behavior, including using a cell phone while driving, eating, adjusting the radio, applying makeup or riding with four or more passengers.

Among the survey’s other findings:

-Drivers 18 and 19 are more likely to engage in distracted driving behavior than those ages 16 or 17.

-Reasons teens gave for driving distracted included: Don’t think they will get hurt (35%), makes driving less boring (22%), the need to remain connected at all times (21%).

-Teens who have access to their own vehicle were more likely to drive distracted than teens who had to share a vehicle.

If you or a loved one has been involved in a car accident, contact the North Carolina injury lawyers at Lee & Smith today for a free and confidential appointment to discuss your rights. Call 800-887-1965. Serving North and South Carolina, including Hickory, Lincolnton and Morganton.

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