Study: West Virginia Teen Drivers May Be Distracted By Their Parents

A new study discovered that parents may be one of the reasons why teenage drivers continue to use their cellphones behind the wheel.

Teenage driver distraction is a large problem in West Virginia and throughout the country. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey, approximately 41 percent of driving teenagers in America admitted that they had texted or emailed and operated a vehicle simultaneously. While most parents of teenage drivers hope that their teenage son or daughter won’t engage in dangerous activities behind the wheel, like texting while driving, a new study reveals that parents could be one of the reasons why many teenage drivers end up becoming distracted.

According to Today, 53 percent of the teenagers who participated in this study and admitted that they had talked on a cellphone while driving were talking to their mom or dad. Additionally, 18 percent of all of the 18-year-old participants said that they had texted their parents while they were driving.

Teens Recognize The Dangers Of Distraction

Although teens have the highest crash risk of any age group, a report produced by the Governors Highway Safety Association, which based its information on federal data collected in 2012, found that 87.4 percent of teens realize that texting and driving or emailing and driving are both activities that are a somewhat serious or a serious threat to their personal safety.

However, teenagers may continue to communicate with their parents using their cellphone as they drive because they also realize that their parents expect that they should be able to reach them and might get mad if they fail to answer their phone, states Today. Conversely, parents may continue to communicate with their child when they know he or she could be driving because they want to know where he or she is.

Distraction Isn’t Limited To Cellphone Use

While cellphone use is an extremely dangerous form of distracted driving, particularly texting and driving, that causes many auto accidents every day, it is not the only type of driver distraction that puts teenagers, other drivers, passengers and pedestrians at risk. According to the CDC, distracted driving is defined as any activity that takes a driver’s full attention away from driving. For example, a teenager can become distracted when he or she eats, fixes his or her hair, gets directions on a GPS device or turns to different stations on the radio behind the wheel of a vehicle.

Regardless of the type of distraction, accidents in West Virginia caused by a distracted teen driver can result in serious injuries for those involved. If you sustained injuries in a collision caused by a negligent driver, speak with an attorney to find out how you can protect your legal rights during this difficult time.