Although New Jersey parents may realize that their teenagers should be free of distractions as they drive, they may not realize how dangerous distracted driving can be. Adolescent drivers can experience many distractions on the road and it is important for these young drivers and their parents to understand the dangers.
The 2016 statistics concerning teenage distracted driving may take some people by surprise. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 3,323 teenagers between the ages of 15 and 19 were involved in a fatal collision and 303 of these adolescents were driving while distracted. Distracted driving caused the deaths of 263 teenagers and 339 people died after being in a collision with a teenager who was distracted behind the wheel.
Despite this, young drivers increasingly are distracted while they drive. USA Today says that many teenagers think they can capably multitask behind the wheel. One report noted that cellphones played a role in 21 percent of fatal collisions. A different study found that even though young drivers find texting to be distracting, 79 percent send text messages and 89 percent make phone calls as they drive. Traffic may sometimes determine when adolescents use their cellphones behind the wheel. Some teenagers are less likely to use these devices when they drive in heavy traffic.
Some parents may be surprised to find that they can be a source of distraction for their teenagers. Some young drivers answer their cellphones behind the wheel because a parent is the one calling them and most of the phone calls teenagers make are to their parents. Some adolescents may also think it is acceptable to use a cellphone while driving because they have seen their parents use these devices behind the wheel.