Distracted driving is more than just texting

Teenage drivers in Louisiana who multitask while they are behind the wheel put their passengers, other drivers and pedestrians at risk. In fact, distracted driving by people of all ages is one of the leading causes of car accidents around the country. A recent study by researchers at Oregon State University looked into distracted driving by teenagers and found that there are other problems besides just talking or texting on a cellphone.

According to the study, 27 percent of the teens that were surveyed admitted that they change their clothes or shoes while they drive. Many of the study participants also revealed that they engage in other unsafe driving habits like doing homework, applying makeup and changing contact lenses while they are behind the wheel.

As far as texting and driving goes, researchers were optimistic that awareness campaigns about the dangers of using a cellphone while also driving had been working. The study showed that about 40 percent of teens admitted that they text while they drive, which is a lower percentage than has been found in other studies. A behavioral scientist from the National Institutes of Health commented that cellphone use or anything that takes a driver's eyes off of the road is dangerous.

When a distracted teen driver causes a car crash, there are often witnesses who can testify to the fact that the driver was using a cellphone. This evidence may be important for an injured victim who would like to file a lawsuit against the driver for the recovery of damages. An attorney can help a victim in this situation to gather eyewitness testimony, police reports and any other evidence that can be used to form the basis of a claim for compensation.

Source: NPR, "Teens Say They Change Clothes And Do Homework While Driving", Maanvi Singh, March 18, 2015

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