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Teens more likely to become distracted while driving

Distracted driving is a significant safety issue, and many drivers are guilty of becoming distracted behind the wheel. While all drivers are at risk for driving distracted, teen drivers appear to be the most likely to become distracted while driving. 

A new study found that teen drivers are more vulnerable to drive distracted, increasing their risk of getting into a car accident. The researchers reported that even though teen drivers between the ages of 15 to 20 only make up an estimated 6 percent of drivers in the country, they are involved in roughly 10 percent of fatal car accidents. They are also involved in 13 percent of car accidents that result in injuries reported to the police.

The study found that teen drivers were more likely to be distracted while driving. There were several different types of distractions, including dialing, texting or talking on a cellphone, reaching for something, adjusting the radio, eating, adjusting their mirror or seat belt or looking at scenery while driving. All of these distractions increased the risk of getting into a car accident or almost crashing. 

The researchers said more experienced drivers also had a higher risk of crashing if they became distracted. However, the study found that only dialing on a cellphone while driving increased the chances of an accident. The other secondary activities did not increase the risk of an accident. The researchers noted that talking on a cellphone is not necessarily that risky. It is the act of reaching or dialing on a cellphone that increases the chances of an accident. 

Teen drivers have a higher risk of being in a car accident compared to older drivers. Teenagers and parents in Colorado should be aware of the risks teen drivers face and take steps to reduce distractions to keep everyone safe on the road. 

Source: Agri-View, "Farmlife: Teens most vulnerable to distracted driving crash risk," Jan. 22, 2014

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