As technology develops, more and more drivers are driving while distracted. According to a new report released by the Governors Highway Safety Association, young people are the most likely to be distracted at the time of a fatal accident. The report is based on federal data from 2012.
The GHSA is a non-profit organization that represents state highway safety offices. The data from the GHSA shows that teens have the highest crash risk of any group and the risk continues into their twenties. About 57 percent of distracted teen drivers involved in a fatal accident are the ones killed. The research shows that new teen drivers are more cautious behind the wheel and are less likely to use a cell phone while driving than other age groups. However, as these new drivers get more experience and become more confident, their opinions on driving distractions change.
The good news is that many states across the nation are taking action to prevent distracted driving among young people. The report indicates that New York is about to implement the toughest penalties in the country. Starting November 1, distracted drivers under the age of 21 will be facing a 120-day license suspension for a first offense and a one year suspension for a second offense. New York authorities also plan on using unmarked raised SUVs to help officers catch drivers engaging in distracted behaviors.
With these new penalties in place, drivers will hopefully be less likely to drive while distracted. And, with more drivers paying attention on the roads, hopefully fewer fatal car accidents will take place.
Source: Forbes, "Teen Drivers: Distracted and Dangerous, A New Report Finds," Tanya Mohn, Aug. 30, 2014