The national debate around distracted driving remains a prominent issue. While U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray, LaHood, has declared distracted driving an “epidemic” and the NTSB has called for a ban on all cellphone use while driving, the cellphone and auto industries seem unwilling to accept responsibility to work toward a solution to the problem.
State legislatures are furiously passing bills that ban texting and handheld cell phone use while driving, as well as adopting systems of graduated driving privileges for teens. Yet young drivers continue to engage in distracted driving behaviors. Why young drivers engage in this behavior is addressed in a recent study funded by Bridgestone, Inc.
Bridgestone, a tire manufacturer, took the initiative to conduct a survey of 2,000 drivers, ages 15-21, with the goal of determining why young drivers engage in distracted driving in spite of understanding the dangers of behaviors, such as texting, eating or drinking while driving. Most of those surveyed believed that they were good drivers, but many did not view activities that require one hand off the wheel as dangerous. One third of those surveyed admitted to reading text messages while driving, while a quarter did not consider talking on the phone as dangerous. One-fifth of respondents said they had received and answered texts while driving. Overall, girls admitted to distracted driving far more than boys. The results of the survey seem to support the notion that the younger, less-experienced a driver is, the more likely that individual will say she/he is a good driver.
While teens may look mature, work at jobs, and can vote, their judgement remains immature. As the survey points out, many teens lack the ability to accurately assess their own driving skills. It is true that in the human experience teens have always over-estimated their capabilities and believe they are invulnerable. However, young drivers are now mixing cellphone use with control of an automobile, a new and dangerous combination that is unsafe for teens and for everyone else. As a result, many more accidents occur that involve distracted, young drivers.
If you or a loved one have been injured in an accident caused by a distracted driver, call the experienced, compassionate lawyers at the Law Offices of Henry Hanflik at 888-905-4632 or 810-720-4000. We can help you now!