Drivers of all ages tend to get excited to hit the roadways at this time of year. Once winter is well behind us, there is nothing quite like the car windows rolled down, music blaring and cruising the roadways while the spring sun sets.
For teens, there can be even more thrill. School is almost over. Classes are winding down. Prom is just days away. All of this excitement combined can make for danger behind the wheel. Traffic safety studies suggest teens don’t need any added reasons to be distracted while driving.
According to AAA research, about 58% of “moderate and severe” accidents involving teens were tied to driving while distracted. It was not only cell phones that distracted the teen drivers but something that might be seen as equally if not more disturbing. Teens were often distracted by their friends riding in the car with them.
With prom season and summer break around the corner, you could say it is potentially prime season for distracted driving among teens. Few kids would ride to prom alone or without music blaring or without posting “selfies” of their prom looks. Summer break leaves most kids nothing but time to cruise to the beach with their friends while shouting the lyrics to their favorite songs out the windows.
It sounds fun. It is fun — until good intentions turn to tragedy.
Teens are not only likely to be distracted while driving because of the social opportunities around them. They are also prone to distracted driving because they fail to adequately respond to the measured reality that distracted driving leads to accidents.
Pennsylvania laws exist to try to prevent teens (and all drivers) from driving while distracted. Young drivers, for example, cannot drive with various other young non-family passengers in their vehicles. They are also prohibited from driving late at night.
Still, with Pennsylvania’s Young Driver Law and restrictions against distracted driving, drivers of all ages will continue to make dangerous choices on the roadways. Unfortunately, it is not only teens who drive while distracted.
If you or a loved one is injured in a preventable traffic accident, take action. Take notes about the incident and the crash scene. Take pictures. Save your words, however, for a trusted car accident lawyer. Your legal team could help uncover whether distraction such as texting contributed to the loss you’ve experienced.