If you are the parent of a teenager, you are well aware of the amount of time that teens spend sending text messages to each other. In fact, the Pew Research Center reports that on any given day, the average teenager will send and receive approximately 100 text messages.
Unfortunately, this does not stop when teens get behind the wheel of a car. A recent survey released by the Centers for Disease Control indicates that 58 percent of high school seniors read and send text messages, as well as emails, while driving. Additionally, nearly 43 percent of high school juniors admit to texting while driving.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, there are three main categories for distractions that occur when motorists are behind the wheel - visual distractions, manual distractions and cognitive distractions. What makes texting while driving particularly dangerous is that it involves all three types of distractions: In order to send and read texts, drivers take their eyes off the road, their hands off the steering wheel and their minds off the task of driving.
Due to the inattention to their driving, drivers who text behind the wheel are 23 times more likely to get into a car accident than those who are not distracted, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation. As a result, about 6,000 people die and another 500,000 are injured in car crashes that involve distracted driving every year.
Texting is not the only dangerous distraction that motorists should avoid. Other kinds of distractions that may contribute to car accidents include talking on a cell phone or other handheld device, changing the radio station, eating, using a GPS system or grooming.
Have you been injured by a driver who was distracted behind the wheel? If so, contact an experienced personal injury attorney who can advise you of your rights. You may be entitled to payment of your medical expenses associated with the accident, as well as compensation for pain and suffering.