Every day throughout the country, car accidents occur as a result of a distracted driver. This is something our Baltimore readers are familiar with, as well as those in every other part of the United States.
According to a recent study by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute, teenagers start out as careful drivers but eventually develop the bad habit of multi-tasking while behind the wheel. Soon enough, this leads to driving while talking on the phone and/or texting.
The study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, shows that teens begin to multi-task, including eating, talking, and using cell phones, as time goes by. Subsequently, this leads to accidents or near-miss crashes.
Charlie Klauer, a leader at the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute said, “Novice drivers are more likely to engage in high-risk secondary tasks more frequently over time as they became more comfortable with driving.”
According to statistics compiled by the institute, approximately 6.4 percent of motorists are between the age of 15 and 20. Despite this small number, those in this age group account for 14 percent of police-reported crashes leading to injury as well as 11.4 percent of fatalities.
Researchers conducted a 100-car study over the course of one year, with drivers between the age of 18 and 72.
A car accident can happen at any time, even when those involved are focused 100 percent on the task at hand. Being distracted for any reason, regardless of the age of the driver, increases the chance of an accident, which could result in fatalities and/or injuries.