Teens and driving distractions, a worrisome combination

Dec 7, 2020 | Car Accidents

Car crashes are the leading cause of death for people under the age of 20, and everyone knows how much of a role distractions play in crashes. That includes here in Florida as well as the rest of the U.S. Teenagers are especially prone to distraction because of their more impulsive nature, their relative lack of driving experience and their greater familiarity with new technologies.

The sheer number of distractions

IDriveSafely.com asked drivers in a survey whether they engage in certain activities behind the wheel. These ranged from eating, which over 60% admitted to doing, to drinking alcohol, which nearly 4% admitted to. In between were some interesting statistics. For example, a little over 21% said they spilled coffee on themselves at least once while driving. Nearly 52% use their phones to look up directions while driving. Still others would check a dating app.

How parents can curb distractions

Today’s teens have grown up with smartphones, apps, games and social media, but parents can set controls on iOS and Android cell phones in the effort to curb distractions. Certain controls will limit the content that teens can access while others let parents monitor how much time their teens spend with a given app. Of course, this cannot substitute for good, thorough parenting.

Filing a claim after a crash

From the perspective of personal injury law, car accidents involving teens are no different than any other; teens have the same duty of care as adult drivers do. Thus, you may be able to pursue a third-party insurance claim if you were the victim of a teen’s negligence and, moreover, if personal injury protection benefits cannot cover your losses. A lawyer may explain how the filing process goes and even assist with it, including the negotiation stage.