Distracted Driving Threatens Highway Safety

Summer time is particularly enjoyable for the average teen. School is out and many teens don't seem to have a care in a world. However, a report recently released by the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration notes that during the summer time teens are at a heightened risk of engaging in distracted driving.

The report recognizes that summer is a dangerous and experimental time for teens; stating that more than 11,000 teens try alcohol for the very first time and another 4,500 will experiment with marijuana during their summer vacation. These risk taking behaviors, combined with the lure of distracted driving create a very dangerous driving environment for all on the road and increase the possibility of a car accident.

Texting and Driving

Taking your eyes off of the road, even if only for a few seconds to read or write a short text message, is exceptionally risky.

A lot can happen in a few seconds. According to the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, a driver's eyes will be off of the road for an average of 4.6 seconds to send or read text message; and, if the car is traveling at 55 m.p.h., this is roughly the equivalent of the driver closing his or her eyes and driving the length of a football field.

The Proposal

The Department of Transportation is working on a plan to prevent accidents that are a result of distracted driving. The new plan includes several provisions:

  • Encouraging the 11 states without texting and driving laws to implement new rules
  • Supporting the automobile industry in creating new technology to help drivers resist the temptation to text and drive
  • Working with drivers education programs to teach new drivers the dangers of distracted driving

Remedy for Injured Parties

Learning to drive takes time, but when teens take unnecessary and dangerous risks such as drinking and driving or texting while behind the wheel other drivers and passengers are put at risk of injury or death.

If you've been involved in an accident with a distracted teen or adult driver, speak with an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can help you explore your legal rights and seek compensation for medical bills, pain and suffering, and lost wages.