Report reveals some of the leading distractions among teens

The AAA Foundation recently released a report about the leading distractions among teenage drivers.

Memorial Day is seen by many safety advocates as the beginning of what are sometimes called "The 100 Deadliest Days." During these 100 days, teen traffic fatalities tend to spike as more teenage drivers enjoy the warmer weather and longer days. As the Virginian-Pilot reports, this year the AAA Foundation is marking the 100 Deadliest Days by releasing a report into some of the leading distractions among teenaged drivers. The report is designed to help both teens and their parents stay safe while on the road this summer.

Leading distractions

As WSLS 10 News reports, this year's report is a follow-up on a previous report by the AAA Foundation that used in-car videos collected between 2007 and 2012. The new report used more recent video evidence to see how distracted driving was impacting teenage motorists.

The updated report found that in the moments immediately prior to a crash, the three leading distractions were interacting with a passenger, using a cellphone, and interacting with something inside the vehicle. Passenger interaction was the leading distraction, being implicated in 15 percent of crashes, while using a cellphone was close behind, being involved in 12 percent of crashes. Being distracted by something in the vehicle was implicated in 11 percent of crashes.

Preventing teen accidents

The 100 Deadliest Days are a stark reminder of how dangerous distracted driving can be for teenagers. Last year, for example, close to 5,200 accidents in Virginia during the 100 Deadliest Days involved a teen driver. Those 5,200 accidents led to 14 teen deaths and thousands of injuries.

The AAA is urging not just teens, but also their parents to be more aware of the dangers of distracted driving. Parents of teenage drivers should talk to their children as early as possible about how risky distracted driving is. One Virginia Tech study, for example, found that texting and driving increases the risk of an accident by 23 times. Additionally, parents should set down clear rules about what is and is not acceptable while driving, such as never picking up a cellphone when a text or notification arrives. Finally, one of the best things parents can do is to lead by example, which means refraining from distracted driving, including texting and driving.

Personal injury law

Distracted driving causes thousands of accidents throughout Virginia every year, many of them leading to injury and, in some cases, death. Those who have been hurt in an accident should reach out for legal help as soon as possible. An experienced personal injury attorney can assist accident victims with their legal options, including by potentially helping them pursue claims to help ease the financial burden that is often caused by a crash. If you have questions about your legal options after an accident caused by others, contact the knowledgeable personal injury lawyers at "The Law Offices of Daniel L. Crandall & Associates for a free initial consultation.