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Distracted driving poses serious roadway threat

Many Oregon drivers are wary of sharing the road with teens, especially because they may drive with many friends packed in the car and be more prone to the errors of inexperienced drivers. For teen drivers to improve their skills, it is important that they get time behind the wheel to develop as experienced operators. However, there are other concerns about teens' safety while driving, and some of those are brought to attention for Teen Driver Safety Week. Teens and their parents pay higher car insurance premiums because they are more likely to have car accidents, a belief backed up by statistics.

A study was released that highlighted teens' behavior behind the wheel. Teen drivers are more likely than those in any other demographic to operate their cars while distracted. Distracted driving has sparked widespread nationwide concern and law enforcement crackdowns, especially as a growing number of serious motor vehicle collisions have been linked to people texting while driving or otherwise keeping their eyes and minds off of the road. The study examined 3,400 drivers between 2011 and 2013, relying on devices to monitor their behavior and driving activity. This provided a unique basis to study distraction without relying on the self-reported narratives in police accident reports, which are often prone to inaccuracy.

Researchers found that some kinds of distraction were more dangerous than others. In particular, distractions that diverted drivers' eyes from the road were most troubling. The worst type of distraction was not technological; instead, outdoor events like accidents could prompt rubbernecking and even more crashes. Texting, surfing the web and watching videos were also closely linked to accidents.

Motor vehicle accidents caused by distracted driving have caused catastrophic injuries and fatalities. A personal injury attorney may help accident victims to pursue compensation for their medical bills, lost wages and other damages.

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