There is no question that young drivers are at a greater risk of car accidents because of their lack of experience. Throw in a cellphone while behind the wheel and the risk of accident, injury or death is magnified. Despite understanding the danger of distracted driving, though, a significant number of teenage drivers continue to use their phones while driving.
According to a survey conducted by Consumer Reports magazine, the majority of young drivers ages 16 to 21 know texting while driving is dangerous. However, almost one-third of young drivers surveyed admitted to texting while driving at least once over the last month. An even greater number, about 50 percent, admitted to using a handheld cellphone behind the wheel over the same time period. It seems the threat of a car accident is not enough to change teenage behavior while behind the wheel.
While the survey did not ask teen drivers why they continue to practice bad driving habits even though they know they are not supposed to, the survey did ask respondents why they cut or stopped distracted driving practices. More than 60 percent said the risk associated with distracted driving led to their curtailment. The next most significant reason was that they stopped using their phone while driving because someone they knew had been in a crash involving distracted driving. Unfortunately, distracted driving can touch some teenagers personally.
In Mississippi and elsewhere, stories about teens and distracted driving seem to be growing each week. The mother of one Mississippi teenager who was hurt in a distracted driving accident recently spoke out on the issue and reminded teenagers that they are responsible for their lives when behind the wheel and that the act of driving is not a video game that can be restarted when something goes awry.
The consequences of distracted driving are serious and deadly, but the results of the Consumer Reports survey show that teenage drivers respond positively to tangible events. The trick is to convince teenagers in Southaven and other parts of Mississippi to practice good driving habits before someone in their life is injured or worse.
Fortunately, the survey also found that teen drivers respond to those around them who set and enforce a good example. Teens are less likely to engage in distracted driving behavior if parents, siblings and friends have the courage to safely pull over and use a cellphone when stopped. Teens who spot others using their phones while behind the wheel should call them out.
If you or a loved one has been injured in a distracted driving traffic accident in Mississippi, contact an experienced personal injury lawyer to discuss your legal options.