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Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish Personal Injury Attorneys | Chicago, IL
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  • $2,300,000 – Brain Injury
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Teens and Distracted Driving

 pDrivingOnPhone_Dollarphotoclub_49170806-300x199.jpg The dangers of distracted driving are well-known and widely publicized. In fact, the risks of distracted driving are so significant that many states, including Illinois, have implemented bans on the use of hand-held cell phones while driving. Unfortunately, many drivers do not heed the warnings about distracted driving, and teen drivers are among the biggest offenders. According to information released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, distracted driving amongst teens is likely a significantly more serious problem than previously believed. After analyzing 1,700 auto crash videos involving teen drivers, investigators found that driver distraction was a factor in nearly 6 of 10 moderate-to-severe crashes - which is four times as many as represented in official estimates based on police reports. Investigators found that driver distraction was a factor in 58% of all crashes studied, including 89% of road-departure crashes and 76% of rear-end crashes. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) previously estimated that distracted driving was a factor in only 14% of teen driver crashes - an estimate that some have called "absurdly low" given the widespread use of cellphones by teens. Experts say that distracted driving now exceeds drunk driving as the leading cause of traffic accidents, and the study showed that teen drivers were distracted by an electronic device nearly a quarter of the time they were behind the wheel. Among the most common forms of distraction leading up to teen car crashes were:

  • Interacting with one or more passengers: 15% of crashes
  • Cell phone use: 12% of crashes
  • Looking at something in the vehicle: 10% of crashes
  • Looking at something outside the vehicle: 9% of crashes
  • Singing/moving to music: 8% of crashes
  • Grooming: 6% of crashes
  • Reaching for an object: 6% of crashes

As we have previously reported, the dangers of distracted driving extend beyond just visual and manual distractions, as well. Research shows that even mental tasks - or cognitive distractions - can impair a driver's ability to operate the vehicle safely. Although hands-free technologies make it easier for drivers to text or talk on the phone while driving, studies show that distracted driving risks exist even when drivers keep their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road. As mental workload and distractions increase reaction time slows, brain function is compromised, and drivers scan the road less and miss visual cues, which can cause drivers to miss seeing stop signs, pedestrians, and other things that are right in front of them. At Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish, our Chicago auto accident lawyers are dedicated to making Illinois roadways safer by minimizing distracted driving risks and helping the victims of auto accidents caused by distracted driving to obtain full and fair financial recovery. If you were injured or a loved one died as a result of distracted driving, do not hesitate to contact the Chicago auto accident lawyers at Steinberg, Goodman & Kalish to schedule a free consultation to discuss a possible personal injury claim.   Steinberg Goodman & Kalish (www.sgklawyers.com) is dedicated to protecting victims and their families.  We handle medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, wrongful death, auto accidents, professional negligence, birth trauma, and railroad law matters. Contact us at (888) 325-7299 or (312) 445-9084. Source: