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Teen distracted driving more prevalent than thought

Many of our readers will agree that getting a driver’s license particularly for teenagers is a rite of passage. Being able to drive on their own and getting a car is a mark of independence, and transition from teenage years to adulthood. In Arizona, teens that are 15 years of age and older can get their learner’s permit. Additionally, if all the requirements are met, an 16-year-old Arizona teen can get a graduated driver’s license. With the privilege to drive a car however come’s the on-going duty to obey all traffic laws.

Our Arizona residents may find it interesting to learn that, according a recent AAA study, teenager distracted driving played a role in causing a traffic accident about 60 percent of the time. This is an alarming statistic and much higher than government estimates. In fact an Arizona AAA spokesperson noted that the finding of the AAA study underscores the point that distracted driving by teens is a much more serious issue than previously thought.

The AAA study examined nearly 1700 video feeds from cameras installed in cars that teens were driving to figure out what types of distractions were causing accidents. Many people tend to attribute distracted driving to texting and cell phone use. While cell phone use was one of the reasons for distracted driving, the analysis revealed that nearly 15 percent of the distracted driving was the result of the driver having some kind of the interaction with another person in the car.

Additionally other reasons for traffic accidents caused by distracted driving included searching for or looking at something in the car or outside, singing and jiving to music while driving, some type of grooming activity while driving and attempting to reach for some object in the car.

Given the number of the various activities which can cause distracted driving, it is difficult to legislate every single cause. However, presently in Arizona, cell phone use is prohibited for school bus drivers only. There is no statewide ban on texting and cell phone use. Some cities such as Flagstaff have implemented bans on texting while driving for all drivers. In order to prevent traffic accidents and reduce injuries caused by distracted driving, it is clear that Arizona needs stronger laws when it comes to distracted driving.

Source: KTAR News, “AAA study: Distracted teen driving more dangerous than previously found,” Cooper Rummell, March 25, 2015

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Law Office of Keith A. Hammond, P.C.

Keith A. Hammond, P.C. Attorney at Law
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