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Teens admit to risky behavior behind the wheel

New Jersey parents of teenagers are often alarmed to hear that their children send text messages or talk on their cellphones while they are driving. However, in a recent study, 27 percent of teenagers who were surveyed admitted to changing their clothes in addition to doing homework or putting on makeup while behind the wheel. Another 40 percent of teenagers admitted to texting while driving, but that number is lower than it has been in some previous studies. Those who have researched the subject say that this lower number means that awareness campaigns have been working.

While a reduction in texting while driving is good news, distracted driving is still an issue among teenage drivers. In fact, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of car accidents regardless of how old the driver is. The use of a GPS system while driving, changing radio stations or talking to other passengers are all activities that can lead to an increased risk of an accident.

One possible way to curb distracted driving among teens is to show them the risk of multitasking behind the wheel. For instance, it may be worthwhile to have a more interactive driver education program to show teenagers that it is not easy for the brain to focus on more than one thing at a time. Researchers also say that parents can play a role in helping their children become more focused while behind the wheel.

Those who are injured due to the actions of a distracted driver may wish to pursue legal remedies. In many cases, distracted driving may be considered negligence. This may entitle an injury victim to compensation for medical bills and lost wages. A personal injury attorney can outline the damages that can be sought in such a lawsuit.

Source: NPR, "Teens Say They Change Clothes And Do Homework While Driving", Maanvi Singh, March 18, 2015

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