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Teens make up the most distracted drivers, study shows

The week of October 20 to 26, 2019, is designated as Teen Driver Safety Week. Corresponding with this event, researchers at Michigan State University have revealed the results of a study analyzing teen drivers and distractions. Parents of teen drivers in Missouri should know that the study offers insights into what happens both inside and outside the vehicle when teens drive distracted. By contrast, other studies have to rely on the limited data in police crash reports.

From 2011 to 2013, a total of 3,400 teen drivers were monitored using cameras and other instruments so that researchers could determine how often the drivers were distracted. Many of the crashes that happened in those three years were due to cellphone use. In fact, researchers separated the crashes into 60 different categories. These included talking on the phone, listening, texting and surfing the web.

Cellphones are far from being the only distraction. Anything that takes a driver's eyes off the road, even for a few seconds, constitutes a distraction and raises the risk for a crash. However the distractions are categorized, there is no doubt that teens are the most likely of any group to engage in distracted driving. They also see the highest rate of accidents due to distracted driving.

When distracted driving factors in car accidents, those who are injured may be eligible for compensation. They may want a lawyer to evaluate their case in light of Missouri's comparative fault rule. If the grounds are sufficient, then victims may be reimbursed for their medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering and other losses. Insurance companies can be aggressive in denying payment, but an attorney may be able to sidestep those tactics in the effort to achieve a fair settlement. As a last resort, a lawyer may litigate.

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