Distracted driving is the number one cause of auto accidents, according to the top causes of car accidents at Serious Accidents, and our firm’s San Diego auto accident lawyers are happy to see programs being developed that help teach all drivers the dangers of taking your eyes off the road.

Turn Off Texting and the Virginia DMV have partnered up to educate teen drivers about the hazards associated with texting at the wheel reports San Diego 10News.  Turn Off Texting is a program dedicated to getting motorists of all ages, but especially teen drivers, focusing on traffic rather than their cell phones.

Programs like Turn Off Texting teach ways to stop distracted driving behavior like texting.

The program consists of taking teen drivers through an obstacle course on a golf cart.  Seems pretty easy, right?  The young motorists are asked to do the course again except to text message with a friend while doing so and see the damage that comes from not paying attention to the task at hand.

“It’s pretty eye opening for the kids,” the senior director of transportation initiatives for the National Safety Council (NSC) in Itasca, Ill. stated. He and thinks Turn Off Texting is a good way to reach teen drivers who might brush off texting in a car as not dangerous. “They’re very unsuccessful at texting and navigating the cones.”

Data compiled by the NSC estimates that cell phone usage, both in talking and texting, cause 28 percent (1.6 million) auto accidents every year.  Motorists talking on cell phones are four times more likely to crash their vehicle, while the odds get even worse for texting drivers who’s risks are increased by 8 to 23 times.

“This age group from 15 to 20 represents about 15 percent of licensed drivers in Vermont yet they’re involved in almost 30 percent of the crashes.  So they’re prone to crashing anyway.  If you add texting and electronic devices and those sorts of things then the probability goes up dramatically,” executive director of the Youth Safety Council in Vermont, Skip Allen, told reporters.

Just this past month, Vermont passed a law that made texting while driving illegal within the state lines.  Right now, 25 states have outlawed distracted driving habits, such as texting while driving.  Teen drivers might soon be required in all states to pass a course similar to the one provided by Turn Off Texting in Vermont.

Our firm’s auto accident lawyers hope that more programs like this one pop up in every state in America.  Teen drivers sometimes have to learn the hard way, but when it comes to texting and driving, the cost might be their lives.  By providing a safe environment to learn and understand the risks involved, hopefully a new generation of motorists will watch the road instead of the screens on their mobile devices.

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