Parents throughout the state of California dread the day when their child receives his or her driver’s license. While it provides a much greater sense of freedom to the teens who are fortunate enough to have access to an automobile, for many parents it provides a sense of anxiety. While the often impulsive nature of teens which can lead them to make bad choices while behind the wheel that leads to car accidents is bad enough, that worry is compounded by the introduction of handheld mobile devices such as cellphones.
While the use of cellphones to talk and text is an issue for drivers of all ages, teens, who are typically incredibly social creatures, appear to be especially drawn to the behavior and it is a problem. A recent study indicates that texting while driving is the number one cause of teen driver deaths. Annually it results in approximately 3,000 teen deaths and it is responsible for more deaths than teen drunk driving. It is particularly dangerous because unlike some distractions for drivers that perhaps only involve those that are mental, visual or manual, texting involves all three.
The habit is one that appears to grow with age. Teens who are a bit older are more likely to participate in the behavior than those who are just learning to drive. In addition, boys admit to engaging in the activity more than girls.
Regardless of who participates in this behavior, if they cause an accident that hurts someone it is possible that they will face a civil personal injury lawsuit.
Source: Newsday, “Study: Texting while driving now leading cause of death for teen drivers,” Delthia Ricks, May 8, 2013