In a post last winter, this blog discussed the dangers of cellular phone use while driving. Most drivers in the Orange County area probably know that talking on the phone and texting while driving is never a good idea.
Teenagers can be especially susceptible to distracted driving because they are not as mature as adults, and they lack the driving experience of many adults. Although texting and driving is a problem among teenagers, it may not be the most dangerous activity that teenagers are undertaking while behind the wheel.
According to a study from Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions, only 27 percent of the teens who were surveyed admitted to texting and driving. But, a whopping 68 percent of the teen respondents reported that they use apps on their phone while driving. Perhaps the most alarming finding of the study is that 80 percent of the surveyed group did not think that using an app is a distraction.
Even when teenage drivers know that using an app is dangerous, this doesn't always keep them from doing it. For example, 64 percent of the surveyed teens thought that using a music app is a distraction while driving. However, 46 percent admitted to using music apps regardless of the known danger. Likewise, 41 percent of the teens thought that using a navigation app would be a distraction, but 58 percent admitted to using those apps while driving.
Driving requires a person's undivided attention, and phone use prevents the driver from focusing on the road. Too many auto accidents result from the negligence of distracted drivers, and phone apps are just the most recent type of available distraction. No matter a person's age, they should avoid texting and driving, using their phone apps while driving, and doing anything else that distracts them from the task of operating their vehicle safely.
Accident victims who are injured due to a distracted driver can pursue legal action in an attempt to recover compensation for medical expenses and other damages. Likewise, family members of those lost in a fatal car accident can pursue a claim against any driver who may have caused the accident through any form of distracted driving.
Source: Forbes, "Snapchat And Other Phone Apps Could Be More Dangerous Than Texting For Teen Drivers," Cheryl Jensen, Aug. 17, 2016