Teen drivers are distracted by more than cellphones

Florida drivers may be concerned with teen driving when cellphones are involved, but text messaging may be only one of their worries. Reports indicate that an estimated 40 percent of teens admit to sending texts while they are driving, an improvement over earlier investigation results. However, more than one of every four teens admits to other forms of distraction, including changing clothing or contact lenses, putting on makeup or working on homework while driving.

Although these types of multitasking are not new, the increased attention given to texting behind the wheel may lend to greater emphasis on distracted driving as a whole. The risk of a car accident is dependent on a teen’s attention, which can be diverted by many activities and objects other than smartphones. Educational campaigns have been credited with the improvements made with respect to teen texting and driving activities, and these campaigns can be expanded to include multitasking in general.

Activities and classes have been coordinated to increase teen awareness of multitasking risks while driving. For example, teachers may have teens attempt to carry on a conversation while also doing a simple activity, such as writing numbers, to establish the awareness of the effect of distraction on simple actions. In fact, a recent study indicated that between 20 and 40 minutes of a course on distraction dangers could improve a teen’s awareness slightly. Further research may be necessary to determine how effective such interventions will be on a large scale.

By the time a teen has caused a distracted driving accident, learning may have to come through logical consequences, including legal penalties, fines and other possible financial consequences. An individual who has been injured in such an accident because of the negligence of a teen driver might seek recourse through a personal injury claim. Legal support could be important in such a situation.