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Car accidents caused by distractions a problem with young drivers

While getting a driver’s license is a thrill for most teenagers, this event can come with a lot of mixed emotions for their parents. Parents in Maryland and across the country want nothing more than to see their children grow and become independent, but they also want to protect them. Unfortunately, this can prove difficult when sending young drivers out on the road on their own. As drivers face more distractions than ever before, parents have every right to be concerned. Car accidents are the leading cause of death of young drivers, and distractions are behind a large chunk of these crashes.

April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month. In recognition of that, information from a recent study was released to show just how many people, particularly teenagers, are affected by this behavior. The study, conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in conjunction with university researchers, found that distracted driving was behind six of 10 auto accidents involving young drivers. This number was much higher than previously believed.

There are multiple things that compete for a driver’s attention. Cell phone use is always thought of as the number one distraction; however, according to this study, passenger interaction led to a higher number of collisions. The other major distractions reported included grooming, reaching for something and looking away from the road at something in or outside the car.

In the year 2013, there were nearly a million accidents involving teenage drivers nationwide. Injuries occurred in over a third of those car accidents and several thousand individuals were killed. Along with these young drivers, others on the road have fallen victim to this inattentive behavior behind the wheel. Maryland residents who have been hurt or lost a loved one due to distracted driving can seek compensation for their losses. Legal claims against the person or persons deemed responsible — if successfully handled — can grant monetary relief for any resulting damages.

Source:, “Teen distracted driving and auto crashes worse than expected“, Charles Moore, April 2, 2015