Distracted driving has earned plenty of media attention and rightfully so because it increases the chances that teens and in fact, all drivers will be involved in a serious or fatal car accident. However, new research released by the University of Alabama in Birmingham helps to explain how better interventions and policies can be developed to help cut down on the basic impact of technology overall. Mobile technology use has negative implications for youth safety when it comes to bicycling, walking and driving.
Given that more than one-third of minors between the ages of 12 and 17 own smartphones, and that transportation-related injuries are the biggest cause of fatalities between children ages 5 and 24, lawmakers and researchers alike are working together to help identify better options. Many studies show teens also distracted when other passengers are in the car.
The University of Alabama research identifies that distraction can be found across the board. Distraction occurs in four different ways, according to the research managers; manual, visual, aural and cognitive. Much of the research already has focused on cognitive and visual processes but texting, which can take both the mind and the eyes off the road was extremely dangerous for drivers as well as pedestrians.
Texting behaviors significantly slowed pedestrian response and driver response time. Three studies found that speeds were much slower when drivers were engaged in a visually demanding task but two other studies noted short increases in speed when someone was interacting with their phone visually. If you have already been involved in an accident as a result of a distracted driver’s behavior, you need to get medical attention immediately and discuss your legal rights with an experienced lawyer.
Are teens also distracted by other drivers, landmarks, or daydreaming? Research shows that with a bigger lack of experience behind the wheel, a teen should always remain focused when driving. However, the temptation to pay attention to other things could lead a teen to cause an accident.