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Are Teen-Related Distracted Driving Accidents Increasing During the Pandemic?

According to a new study, the recent Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has worsened distracted driving accident rates in the United States. The report published by Zendrive Collision Report found that there was a 63 percent increase in car accidents per one million miles throughout the first 11 months of 2020. Cellphone use was involved in 57 percent of the distracted driving collisions.

Many experts believe that these heightened accident rates are attributed to the increase in phone usage during the pandemic, including the use of online meetings, like Zoom. Many of these motorists are distracted teenage drivers.

What is Distracted Driving?

Distracted driving is when a motorist’s attention is divided while they are behind the wheel. This means that distracted driving is not only texting while driving, but it also includes eating, talking, or grooming oneself while driving. However, it is important to note that texting while driving does take up the majority of distracted driving cases and is often more deadly. All distractions are dangerous, and drivers have a responsibility to prevent them.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that there are three types of distracted driving:

  • Visual: Visual distractions are when drivers takes their eyes off roadways, such as texting while driving.

  • Manual: A manual distraction is when the driver removes their hands from the wheel. An example of this is eating while driving.

  • Cognitive: A cognitive distraction is when the motorist’s mind is taken off of driving, such as having a lengthy conversation with a passenger.

Why are Teenagers More Susceptible to Driving Distracted?

The CDC also states that teenagers and young adults are the most likely to drive distracted. Many experts believe that teenagers are more susceptible to driving distracted because of their heightened dependence on cellphones for entertainment and communication. This is further explained in a 2019 study from the CDC. The study found that in the past 30 days, 40 percent of high school students texted or emailed while driving.

To prevent these increased rates of distracted driving, parents should take steps to teach their children safe driving tips.

How can I Prevent My Teen from Distracted Driving?

Parents should try to actively educate their children about the dangers of distracted driving. They should also try to teach their children healthy driving habits that can prevent them from getting in a car accident.

One healthy habit that could help a young motorist is teaching them to turn on the Do Not Disturb feature on their phone while driving. Many teenagers and young adults become distracted by cellphone notifications, calls, and text messages. Do Not Disturb mode can prevent a driver from receiving these notifications while driving, which prevents them from looking at their phone. Motorists can often adjust their phone settings to make the Do Not Disturb feature come on automatically while driving.

Parents are also encouraged to teach their teenagers or young adult how to behave when call or texts are unavoidable. If the driver is expecting an important call, they should know to pull over or park somewhere momentarily while they answer. If they cannot do this, they should know to wait until they have arrived at their destination to answer. Parents should also avoid trying to contact their children when they know they are behind the wheel. This can prevent the driver from being tempted to check their cellphone.

What Should a Teenager Do After a Collision?

Immediately after a car accident, a victim should ensure that the other driver is okay, and check to see if anyone has any injuries. They should also call the police and any emergency services that are needed, like an ambulance.

After the driver is sure that everyone is physically safe, they should take photographs of the scene of the accident and any vehicular damage. They should also look to see if there were any witnesses to the accident that could corroborate their story. This can ultimately help the case.

A person who has recently been in a motor vehicle accident should also contact a car accident lawyer. A lawyer can help a victim obtain entitled compensation for any injuries or expenses that resulted from the accident. They often do this by looking at the scene of the accident, examining police reports, and talking to potential witnesses. They can help gather important evidence related to the case in order to prove that the at-fault party is liable.

Highland Park Car Accident Lawyers at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr Help Victims After Distracted Driving Collisions

If you have an injury because of a distracted driver, you need to contact a Highland Park car accident lawyer at the Law Offices of Harold J. Gerr. Distracted driving rates are increasing during the pandemic. Car accidents are often expensive and lead to both economic and non-economic losses, but we can help you with your case. Complete our online form or call us at 732-537-8570 for a free consultation. Located in Highland Park, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout New Brunswick, Somerset, Piscataway, Edison, South River, Sayreville, Metuchen, East Brunswick, South Plainfield, Fords, Middlesex, Old Bridge, Iselin, Bound Brook, Perth Amboy, and Colonia.

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