Just like most young adults around the country, Texas teenagers can’t wait to get behind the wheel and feel the freedom and independence that driving brings. Of course, with that comes the responsibility to act safely and properly while behind the wheel, which, for many young people, is a little slower to develop than the enthusiasm for driving itself. In recognition of this, although young people who otherwise qualify may get a learner’s permit at age 15, every driver under 21 must go through the Graduated Driver License Program, which bestows increasing driver status based on time and good driver performance with the ultimate goal of earning an unrestricted license.
Despite Texas’ GDL and similar teen driver safety programs throughout the U.S., researchers who have monitored drivers’ behavior while in their vehicles over a two-year period have concluded that teenagers are the likeliest drivers to be distracted and the most prone to be involved in car crashes. It’s fitting that these findings were released to coincide with Teen Driver safety Week as anything that can be done to raise awareness and help decease teen driver risks is most surely welcome.
Distraction can come in many forms, but it is most closely associated with cell phone use while driving. The research broke down cell phone usage to more specific tasks, such as texting, browsing and calling, for example, which were all high on the distraction list. However, the number one distraction was when the driver’s attention was diverted to something external to the vehicle, such as rubbernecking.
Every driver, no matter his or her age, is charged with the responsibility to drive reasonably. Driver distractions can lead to motor vehicle accidents, and often, it is not clear which driver was at fault. A personal injury lawyer can assist those injured by the negligence of others.