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Risk of Multi-Tasking Behind the Wheel is Higher for Teens

High school and college students, parents, professionals and other hardworking Americans live busy lives. Every day we are looking for ways to save time and to get quickly from A to B. While multi-tasking is a productive way to get things done, it can be a dangerous interference when behind the wheel. Millions of Americans perform other tasks while driving—eating, putting on makeup, even reading or writing emails. This is a serious hazard and an epidemic that continues to pose a significant risk to drivers and other motorists on the road.

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While drivers of any age group or demographic may be guilty of multi-tasking, new research shows that younger drivers who multi-task are more likely to cause an accident. Our car accident attorneys in West Palm Beach are dedicated to helping victims recover compensation in the event of an accident. We also know how devastating an accident can be and are committed to promoting public safety to prevent future injuries and fatalities.

According to a report highlighted by NPR and published in the New England Journal of Medicine, teenagers who start off practicing safe driving will often start multi-tasking within months of being behind the wheel. While older drivers may also be guilty of multi-tasking, their experience and ability to respond to various driving situations makes them less likely to be involved in an accident. Researchers found that within 6 months of getting their licenses, young drivers didn’t hesitate to start texting, adjusting their iPods or the radio, or eating while driving.

Statistically, the young drivers were not multi-tasking any more than their older counterparts, however they were lacking the thousands of hours of practice to be good drivers and have the skills to avoid accidents. Researchers suggest that the lack of experience and hours behind the wheel could explain the high rate of accidents involving teenagers.

To arrive at these results, the analysts tracked new drivers and then compared results to 100 drivers with more experience. The participants had sensors in their vehicles to determine when they were involved in accidents or had to break to avoid close calls. Videos were used to survey the drivers at the moments before an accident occurred. They found that older drivers were more likely to recover and react quickly even when multi-tasking. A more comprehensive study of 2,000 drivers is seeking more definitive answers regarding age, experience and the ability to multi-task behind the wheel.

Another recent survey conducted by AAA has assessed various driving activities to determine their level of distraction. The results are not necessarily what you would expect. For example, even though hands-free devices are intended to make driving safer, evidence suggests that they can be just as distracting for drivers. The report found that listening to the radio had minimal risk of distracting a driver, even when adjusting the radio. Listening to books on tape was also a minimal risk, however it was slightly higher than simply listening to the radio. Moderate risks included talking to a passenger and using a hand-held cellphone. Texting while driving is still considered to be the most dangerous and creates a high risk of accidents.

Call Freeman Injury Law — 1-800-561-7777 for a free appointment to discuss your rights.

More Blog Entries:

Speed a Major Contributing Factor in Coral Springs Car Accidents, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, December 30, 2013

Study: Children More Distracting to Drivers Than Cell Phones
, Fort Lauderdale Car Accident Attorney Blog, December 27, 2013

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