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Teen distracted driving examined in study

Distracted driving is one of the most highly publicized threats on the road today in Texas, and many states have implemented harsh penalties for people who use their mobile phones and other devices while behind the wheel. One study released for Teen Driver Safety Week particularly highlights the behavior of teens on the road. Because teen drivers are less experienced and may be more reckless, distracted driving could potentially pose an even greater threat for teens. In addition, studies have shown that teens are more likely to drive distracted than people in other age groups and are also at higher risks for car accidents and serious injuries.

Researchers at Michigan State University studied 3,200 drivers between 2011 and 2013; they used in-car devices to monitor driving activity, safety incidents and the behaviors of drivers, including their engagement with distracting devices or other matters. They noted that this in-car evidence was crucial to their study, especially as many police reports taken after car crashes rely primarily on self-reported conduct, which can often be inaccurate. They mapped out multiple types of distracting behaviors, including over 60 different categories ranging from using the radio to surfing websites.

They found that most car crashes caused by distracted driving are linked to types of distractions that keep drivers' eyes away from the road. Distractions outside the car, like attempting to view other accidents on the side of the road, posed a threat. When it came to cellphone use, texting, watching videos or web browsing were all more dangerous than just talking.

Distracted driving can lead to serious accidents causing catastrophic injuries and even fatalities. People hurt in a crash caused by someone else's negligent driving may work with a personal injury attorney to pursue compensation for their damages.

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