teenagers texting and driving

Teen distracted driving in New York is a major concern, but new research indicates the problem could be reduced with innovative technology. Two new interventions, involving a camera and a device that blocks calls and texts, could reduce the growing problem of distracted driving involving teens in the state.

Cameras, blocked signals lead to safer driving

Researchers used new technology to study 29 drivers between the ages of 15 and 18. Some of the drivers in the study used cameras in their vehicles, while others had their cell phone signals blocked inside their cars, disallowing them to call or text while in the vehicle. A control group had no technology intervention. All of the study groups were followed by researchers for six months.

Researchers in the study discovered the interventions curbed high risk driving, such as sharp turns and hard braking, by up to 80 percent. Although teens with cell phone blockers tended to drive more safely than those with cameras, the difference between the two groups was fairly negligible. The results of this study were presented at the annual meeting of the Pediatric Academic Societies last month.

The risks of electronic distraction for young drivers are very real, but facts and figures have not done enough to change driver behavior,” Beth Ebel, the lead author of the study, director of Harborview Injury Prevention & Research Center and associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine, told the official newsmagazine of the American Academy of Pediatrics, AAP News.

Distracted driving increases accident risk

In another study co-authored by Ebel, researchers found that citations issued for distracted driving tended to increase the risk of a car accident. The study found that 31 percent of teen drivers cited for distracted driving were later involved in crashes, versus just four percent of drivers that never had a citation. While researchers admitted this study did not take into account all the factors that could contribute to a crash, there was a definite correlation between citations and an increased risk of motor vehicle crashes.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that the risk of motor vehicle crashes is higher in drivers between the ages of 16-19 than any other age group.

Those most likely to be involved in a crash include males, those driving with other teen passengers and teens that have only had their license for a few months.

Factors contributing to crashes among teens include a higher incidence of alcohol use and risky driving behaviors, and a lower incidence of seatbelt use.

Reducing distracted driving

Although concerns over risks associated with teen drivers are very real, this study suggests there may be ways to curb accidents involving teen drivers. While facts and figures may not do much to curb risky behavior, technology may serve as an effective deterrent against distracted and high-risk driving habits. It is interesting to note that none of the technology was disabled by teen drivers or their parents during this study, indicating that the incorporation of these devices may indeed be an effective deterrent.

At The Sanders Law Firm, we have seen the impact of teen distracted driving in New York on motorists and their families. If you are the victim of one of these accidents, it can change your entire life in an instant. We work with the victims of these crashes to help them pursue compensation for their injuries and medical treatment, so they can resume their daily lives as quickly as possible.

If you have been hurt as a result of a distracted driver, contact a New York distracted driver accident lawyer today at 1-800-FAIR PLAY to get a free evaluation of your case and learn more about your legal options. Resources

  1. University Herald, Technology may Reduce Distracted Driving among Teens, https://www.universityherald.com/articles/18398/20150427/technology-may-reduce-distracted-driving-among-teens.htm
  2. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Teen Drivers: Get the Facts, https://www.cdc.gov/motorvehiclesafety/teen_drivers/teendrivers_factsheet.html
  3. American Academy of Pediatrics, Outsmarting Smart Phones: Technology Reduces Distracted Driving among Teens, https://aapnews.aappublications.org/content/early/2015/04/27/aapnews.20150427-2
  4. Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center, Distracted Driving, https://depts.washington.edu/hiprc/collaborate/outreach/distracted-driving/
  5. Reuters, Blocking Smartphone Use by Teen Drivers may Reduce Crash Risks, https://www.reuters.com/article/2015/04/27/us-teen-driving-blocked-phones-idUSKBN0NI25V20150427