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Teenage distracted driving is more than just texting

Many people in Kentucky may already know that distracted driving is one of the primary causes of traffic accidents involving drivers of all ages. However, while many teens acknowledge that texting behind the wheel is hazardous, a recent study shows that they fail to recognize that doing other activities while driving can be just as much of a problem.

According to the study, about 40 percent of the participating teens admitted to texting while driving. Although this figure looks high, it is lower than the results of some previous studies. The researchers also found that 27 percent of the participating teens admitted to changing shoes and clothes behind the wheel, while some said that they do homework, apply makeup and change contact lenses while driving.

The survey also had the teens participate in an interactive education class to help them understand distracted driving. In a classroom-like setting, the instructors had the students try to write numbers while talking on the phone to demonstrate the risks of multitasking. The students were able to slightly improve their understanding of the risks after the class. The leader of the study noted that while campaigns are working to make teens aware of how dangerous it is to text and drive, more needs to be done to make them aware of the other activities that are just as dangerous. Driver education programs need to focus on teaching teens to avoid any multitasking while driving, which includes changing radio stations and adjusting GPS settings, he added.

When the cause of a car accident is being determined, distracted driving because of texting or doing another activity while driving may be deemed to have been the factor. In a personal injury lawsuit where the negligence of another driver is found to have been the cause of the accident, injured parties might be awarded compensation for their medical bills and lost wages.