Despite greater awareness of the dangers of texting and driving, many teenagers continue to engage in this dangerous behavior. A recent study presented at the Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) annual meeting indicates that more than four in every 10 (about 43 percent) high school students have admitted to texting while driving within the last 30 days of a 2011 survey.
It was also found that male teens were more likely than females to text and drive. And with age, the number of teens texting behind the wheel actually increased. Teens who said they had texted while driving were also more likely to partake in other dangerous behaviors such as alcohol use and unprotected sex.
Distracted Driving Facts and Stats
The age group most likely to engage in distracted driving behaviors is under the age of 20. Using a handheld device, such as a cellphone, increases the risk of a serious crash by four times, according to information available from the government’s Distraction.gov website.
Further, compared to having no distractions, the risk of a car accident is 23 times greater when texting. The amount of time the driver is not paying attention to the road when sending or receiving a text is 4.6 seconds.
According to the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV), in 2011 there were 49,917 crashes where driver inattention/distraction was a factor. Texting accounted for 35 of the crashes and the use of a cellphone (hands-free and handheld) accounted for 574 crashes.
New York Texting Laws
Currently, 39 states have banned texting while driving. New York is one of them, and also includes a ban on all handheld devices. The law is a primary offense, which means a citation can be issued for a violation of these laws, even if no other offense has been committed.
Clearly, this isn’t an issue that just affects teens. If it’s believed that distracted driving was the cause of an accident resulting in serious or fatal injuries, Gacovino, Lake & Associates may be able to help.