March 21, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- Teen drivers are more likely to be distracted, experts say
Article provided by Bruno Bellucci, III, P.C.
Visit us at http://www.belluccilaw.com/
According to the Department of Transportation, in 2010 distracted driving was responsible for more than 3,000 deaths and 416,000 injuries on our nation's roadways. Although a problem among all age groups, experts say that teenage drivers are more at risk of being involved in a car accident because they were distracted. There are a couple of reasons for the elevated danger among teens.
Likelihood of text messaging
The first, and most obvious, reason that teens are more likely to be distracted while behind the wheel is that they are more likely to send text messages or use cellphones than other age groups. Although ubiquitous among all age groups, drivers under age 25 are three times more likely to send a text message while driving, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
Government statistics have highlighted the dangers that texting while behind the wheel poses. According to distraction.gov, text messaging takes a driver's eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds--enough time to cover the length of a football field if traveling 55 miles-per-hour. Additionally, drivers who text are 23 times more likely to be involved in a car accident, according to a study conducted by the Department of Transportation.
Teenager's love of texting while driving is not the only reason for their increased risk of being distracted. Human development also plays a role. By the time teens reach driving age, many have not fully developed regulatory compliance--the ability to control emotion and attention in order to function effectively when faced with a challenge.
The prefrontal cortex, which is the control center of the brain, develops more slowly than other areas of the brain. Because of this, many teens of driving age have an underdeveloped prefrontal cortex, which makes it harder to focus on tasks. However, most teens have a fully developed limbic system, which controls feeling or arousal and reward, making them susceptible to distractions.
As a result of the underdeveloped prefrontal cortex and the fully developed limbic system, if a teen driver is distracted by something such as a cellphone, it can overtax all of the brain's available resources devoted to maintaining control of the vehicle, significantly increasing the risk of an accident.
Because of the propensity of teen drivers to be distracted, the federal government has passed $46 million in grants for states to strengthen or start programs to address distracted driving. One of the grants requires states to ban teens from using cellphones or other communication devices while driving, as a condition of receiving funding.
Although the grants are a step in the right direction, it will likely be years before the programs can take full effect. In the meantime, if you or a loved one has been injured by a distracted driver, contact an experienced personal injury attorney. An attorney can assist you in recovering all compensation due to you under the law.---
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