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Rear-end collisions and teens: Study finds three common causes

A recent study, published in the Journal of Safety Research, focuses on the common causes of rear-end accidents involving teenage drivers. Researchers found that over 75 percent of these accidents were the result of distraction. The study included an analysis of over 400 rear-end accidents from 2007 to 2013, with a focus on drivers that range in age from 16 to 19.

What types of distractions caused rear-end collisions?

Distractions can present themselves in many forms. A person walking a dog or rollerblading down the street could pose a distraction to a driver who is not focused on the road, children arguing in the back seat could cause a distraction and even reaching over to grab a snack can lead to distraction.

Although there are many types of distractions, some are more common than others. The three most common distractions found in this study included:

  • Cellphone use. The fact that texting and driving is dangerous is not a new concept. This study further supports this fact by noting that when phones were the cause of the accident drivers often failed to break or swerve to avoid the collision. This essentially means that teenage drivers that are using their phones prior to this type of accident are completely unaware that they are about to collide with a stopped vehicle.
  • Passengers. Either through conversation or other behavior, other people in the car can distract a novice driver and increase the risk of these accidents.
  • External distractions. Things outside of the car were also found to pose a risk. This could include billboards, pedestrians and other vehicles.

These distractions are varied, but parents can see this information as an opportunity. Parents can use this data to help reduce the risk of these accidents by encouraging teens to focus on the road while driving. The presence of passengers can be limited and various applications are available that can reduce the risk of a teen using his or her phone while the car is in motion. Parents can also help by modeling good behavior while driving.

Unfortunately, even when these steps are taken accidents can happen. In these cases, victims of these accidents may be eligible for compensation to help cover the costs associated with the accident. Contact an experienced attorney to discuss your options.

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