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New Technology May Curb Teen Distracted Driving

by on May 11, 2015

Phoenix car accident attorneys at Wattel and York know how destructive distracted driving can be, especially when teenagers are involved. We represent Arizona residents who have been injured by motorists caught texting and driving or otherwise engaging in reckless behavior behind the wheel. In our years of experience winning settlements or jury verdicts for those victims, we’ve seen too many lives destroyed when a driver decides to text or talk instead of keeping his or her eyes on the road.

We were encouraged to hear about a new study suggesting that certain types of technological interventions may curb teen distracted driving in Arizona and across the country. With the rate of distracted driving accidents so high at this time, it is important that every effort be made to prevent these kinds of tragedies.

Could technology prevent teen distracted driving in Arizona?

The study was led by Dr. Beth Ebel of the University of Washington. The team chose 29 teenagers to monitor over a period of six months and divided them into three groups. Whereas the first two groups involved technological interventions to prevent distracted driving, the third group operated as a control group.

In the first group, a camera was installed in the car and was turned on by driving maneuvers such as taking corners too quickly, impact, or breaking hard. Teens and parents could later review and discuss the footage. In the second group, a device blocked incoming and outgoing calls and text messages on the teens’ cell phones. Teenagers in all three groups were monitored to see how much the phones were used while driving. The results of the study showed less risky driving and less distracted driving in the groups where interventions were set in place. The safest drivers were those whose cell phones were blocked.

Teen distracted driving: a serious problem

Distracted driving is a serious problem in this country, rivaling the dangers caused by driving while intoxicated. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has found that 10% of fatal crashes and 18% of crashes that result in injuries involve at least one distracted driver. Of all the distracted driving crashes surveyed by the NHTSA in their 2013 study, the age group with the largest representation consisted of drivers ages 15 to 19.

Distracted driving can entail driving while eating or drinking, while engaged in conversation, while attending to children in the back seat, or while changing a CD. But many incidences of distracted driving involve talking or, especially, texting on cell phones.

Phoenix distracted driver accident lawyers

Many states have laws that limit or prohibit distracted driving behaviors involving cell phones. In Phoenix and Tucson, texting and driving is illegal; those convicted face steep fines. If you are a victim of such negligent behavior while behind the wheel, Wattel & York can offer you strong legal representation in court.

To arrange a free case review with our experienced Phoenix highway accident lawyers, please call 1-877-225-5562.

Resources:

  1. Consumer Affairs, Technology may reduce distracted driving among teens http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news/technology-may-reduce-distracted-driving-among-teens-042915.html
  2. NHTSA, Distracted Driving 2013, http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/812132.pdf

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