Every parent of a teenager at least silently dreads the day that he or she gets a driver’s license for obvious reasons. While it will be more convenient to not have to provide a child with constant transportation, fear and anxiety creep into everyone’s consciousness when they see a child drive off in a vehicle. That’s because adults tend to understand the dangers associated with cars, trucks and SUV’s on a deeper level than teens who are mostly just excited to be able to drive for themselves.
Unfortunately, that lack of perspective on the seriousness of driving is something that has always led to the development of bad habits by teen drivers. This is one of the many reasons that teens cost more to insure than members of other age groups. You probably remember the days when you blasted the radio with your friends in the car, when you pulled up to a group of peers at a stoplight and engaged in playful banter and when you did other things that you knew your parents wouldn’t approve of but that you also knew they’d never find out about.
Since those days, many new technologies and capabilities have come to pass, and these capabilities have only heightened the distractions available for drivers of all ages. While we used to turn the knob on the radio or have a snack that we picked up at a drive-through window, we can now surf the Internet, have video chats and of course send and receive text messages. Sadly, a very high number of high school students seem to be distracted by text messaging capabilities on a regular basis, at least according to a recent study.
The government recently completed a survey involving more than 8,000 high school students who were 16 years old or older at the time. The survey asked them several questions regarding their driving habits, and a few of those questions involved sending and receiving text messages. More than 44 percent of respondents admitted that they had read and/or sent text messages while behind the wheel during the previous 30 days. In addition, 25 percent of respondents admitted to taking part in this behavior at least once every day.
This is obviously very troubling, and it’s probably safe to assume that many parents of the teens who responded to this survey are not aware of the presence of these dangerous habits. Hopefully they find out, though, and they take steps to put an end to this dangerous activity. There has been a public outcry regarding the dangers of texting while driving that’s been happening for years now, but that message doesn’t seem to be reaching enough drivers of this age.
We have been serving clients as Las Vegas accident lawyers for 30 years, and we understand the damage that can be done by a distracted driver of any age. The team at Bernstein & Poisson hopes that somehow, future surveys of this type will reveal lower numbers of teens who invite this unnecessary risk when behind the wheel.