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Teenagers and distracted driving

Thanks to multiple public education campaigns, most Kansas teens are aware of how dangerous texting and driving is. However, a recent study, while demonstrating a decline in the percentage of teens texting and driving, revealed that teens still engage in many other distracting activities on the road.

The survey, conducted by a researcher at Oregon State University, asked teens about other activities they engage in while driving. The results revealed that 27 percent admitted to changing their clothing or shoes while they were driving. Others reported doing homework, applying makeup or even changing their contact lenses.

The study underscores the level of unawareness teens have about the dangers of multitasking while driving a car. The study's author recommends that driving education programs include a strong component about avoiding multitasking of any type while driving. The study also showed a significant decrease in the percentage of teens who reported texting and driving, with 40 percent responding in the affirmative. Although that percentage is high, it represents an improvement and points to the effectiveness of education programs aimed at reducing the incidence of texting and driving. Teens should be made aware that even activities such as changing radio stations, adjusting GPS coordinates and talking on the phone while driving may divert their attention away enough to cause them to have an accident.

Distracted driving of any type increases the risk of incurring serious injuries, both for the driver as well as for others on the road around them. Teens are the most inexperienced drivers on the road, making them already more prone to being involved in car accidents. If a person is seriously injured by a distracted driver, they may want to consider filing a personal injury civil lawsuit against the driver for their negligence.

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

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