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Teen distracted driving linked to high crash rate

Drivers in California are often wary of teens behind the wheel, believing them to be more reckless, inexperienced and accident-prone. Car insurance payments and many statistics back up those beliefs, even if every driver needs to go through a teenage phase in order to improve their own skills. With concerns about distracted driving on the rise, many people are particularly concerned about teen drivers' connections to their phones, social media and other interactive devices. Statistics indicate that teens are the driving demographic most likely to drive while distracted and the most likely to get involved in car crashes.

Car accidents linked to distracted driving can cause severe injuries and even fatalities, and many driver education programs focus on telling teens to put their devices in an inaccessible place to prevent temptation behind the wheel. One study, released by Michigan State University to coincide with Teen Driver Safety Week, examined the types of distractions drivers face behind the wheel and which distractions are more likely to be linked to collisions and other serious safety incidents. The researchers examined 3,200 drivers between 2011 and 2013, using in-car devices to monitor driver behavior and conduct behind the wheel. They noted that police crash data often relies on inaccurate self-reported narratives.

The research team identified 60 different types of distractions that can pose a threat. They said that the most dangerous distractions involved outdoor events that were compelling to witness, like other collisions. Distracted driving was more dangerous when people texted, surfed the web or watched videos, taking their eyes off the road.

Even a short period of distraction can be catastrophic for others on the road. People hurt in motor vehicle collisions because of someone's distracted, dangerous or negligent driving may consult with a personal injury lawyer about how to seek compensation for their losses.

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