Are Parents’ Exacerbating Atlanta Distracted Driving Accident Risks for Teens?

A recent study published by FSU shows there are attentional costs simply for receiving notification of a text message or an incoming telephone call, even when you do not take the call. When a phone vibrates or a quiet sound goes off, this can impair your focus on the road and have a significant adverse impact on driving safety. v3-white-1544058

The new study is troubling, because so many people drive with their phones even despite knowing the risks.  When a motor vehicle accident occurs because a driver has become distracted by a cell phone, an Atlanta car accident lawyer should be consulted for assistance in pursing a claim for injury compensation.

Kids Model the Behavior of Parents When It Comes to Atlanta Distracted Driving Crashes

According to the FSU study, even hearing a cell-phone notification can significantly damage performance on tasks because the notification can prompt mind-wandering and take focus off the task at hand. The risk of hearing a notification may be just as much of a distraction as actually using the cell phone to call or send text messages.  Young people are especially likely to keep their phones on and notifications enabled while driving, which puts teens at significant risk.

Teens are bombarded with information on the dangers of distracted driving, including a recent shocking ad from AT&T’s It Can Wait campaign.  ABC News reported the ad showed a mother in a vehicle with a baby in the back seat. The mother checks her phone while her child is in the back seat, her car clips a truck traveling in the opposite direction, and the car goes flying up into the air. The ad is designed to show teens and other motorists that it takes only a second for a tragedy to occur.

Despite knowing the dangers, however, kids are often influenced by something far closer to home when it comes to texting: the actions of their parents in the car. The mother in this AT&T ad is modeling a high-risk behavior for her child and the Washington Post reported that evidence shows kids are paying attention. According to the Post, the majority of teens say their parents or other adults text all the time, and the same number of teens who said they saw their parents texting admit that they also send and receive messages behind the wheel.

Claims Journal also indicates teens reply to texts from their parents because their parents expect a prompt response. More than 19 percent of teenagers say their parents expect a reply to a text within one minute, which prompts those teens to pick up the phone even if they are operating a vehicle at the time.

When teens know their parents expect a reply, hearing a cell phone notification can make them nervous and draw their attention from the road- exactly as the FSU study warns.  These teens are a danger to themselves and to others on the road, even if they don’t pick up the phone in response to the text. Victims injured by a texting teen need to understand their options for pursuing a claim for compensation.

The Atlanta car accident lawyers at Sammons & Carpenter, P.C. can represent you after an injury caused by a negligent driver. Call today at (404) 814-8949 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation.