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Speeding and Texting Put Teen Drivers At Risk on the Road

teen looking at cellphone while driving in the dark

A new study highlights how some teens drive recklessly and cause car accidents.

According to a recent study by HealthDay, texting and speeding are the two most common factors contributing to crashes involving teen drivers.

"We all want teen drivers to be safe on the road for themselves, their passengers, and the people who share the road with them," said lead researcher Catherine McDonald, co-director of the PENN Injury Science Center at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, in Philadelphia. "We need to encourage safe driving and find ways to help prevent those risky driving behaviors like speeding and cellphone use that can lead to a crash."

Research from the study showed 40 percent of the teens that took part in the survey drove over the speed limit, while more than 30 percent used their cell phones. Another 5 percent did both simultaneously.

Safety officials are concerned that this combination will lead to more serious and fatal car accidents.

Teens and texting while driving

Although drivers of all ages admit to texting and driving, the risk is especially high for teens. The Zebra reports that over 3,000 teens die yearly in texting and driving accidents.

Even though it only takes a few seconds to look at your phone while driving, the consequences of doing so might last a lifetime. Although it may seem innocent enough to text and drive, it is the ultimate form of distracted driving since it involves visual, manual, and cognitive distractions.

Teen recording a video from his cellphone while driving down a winding road.

Teen speeding

According to Teen Driver Source at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute, in serious accidents caused by teen driver error, 21 percent involved speeding. Some teens may think that going 10 miles per hour over the limit is no big deal, but it can make all the difference in a crash. Going 10 mph over the speed limit can double the energy and force of impact in an accident.

Some teens see speed limits as minimums rather than maximums. They also are more likely to leave less space between themselves and the car in front of them than older drivers. Speeding becomes even more dangerous for teens when they have peers as passengers. The study showed the risk of a fatal teen crash increases with every additional passenger in the vehicle.

"The data from these teens gives us another way of observing driving behaviors beyond self-report," McDonald said. "Teens were speeding and using their cellphones while driving, but it did not occur on every trip. Better understanding the where and when of these driving behaviors may help us in advancing our interventions to reduce crash risk."

Contact an Indiana car accident lawyer from Vaughan & Vaughan

Some teenagers lack the driving skills and experience that more mature drivers have and are more prone to causing accidents. If you or a loved one was injured in an accident involving a teen driver, you should contact an experienced car accident attorney to review your legal rights and options as soon as possible.

Dealing with insurance companies can be frustrating. An insurance adjuster may question the severity of your injuries, blame you for the crash, or offer you a lowball settlement that doesn't come close to covering your losses. At Vaughan & Vaughan, our car accident attorneys can take on the insurance companies for you and fight for the compensation you're entitled to under Indiana law.

Find out how our law firm can help with your potential legal case. Contact us today for a free consultation. We have six offices located throughout Indiana.

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