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Study examines distracted teens and fatal accidents

Driving an automobile is a skill that constantly requires vigilant attention. Most drivers in Connecticut know that a mere moment's distraction can result in a fatal accident. Teenage drivers, however, do not yet have the benefit of years of driving experience, which places them at a higher risk of an accident simply because many do not yet realize the dangers of distracted driving. Recently, the American Automobile Association revealed the results of a follow-up study about this very topic.

According to the AAA, more than 5,000 people have died in fatal car accidents involving teenage drivers over the past five years during the summer driving season. The AAA also released details from a follow-up study that confirmed the findings of an earlier study indicating a majority of these auto accidents involving teenagers also involved some form of distracted driving.

The research for the study was done in collaboration with the University of Iowa. The study analyzed more than 2,000 videos that were taken from cameras installed in the dashboard of cars. The researchers used these cameras to analyze what teenage drivers were doing in the moments just before a car accident.

There were three main types of distracted driving behaviors that the teenagers in the study were doing just before their accident. The most common behavior was talking or paying attention to another passenger in the vehicle. The second most common behavior was either talking or texting or using their cellphone while driving and the third most common distracted behavior was looking at something in the vehicle.

The findings of the AAA report confirm the importance of ignoring distractions when driving on the road. However, any Connecticut motorist who was injured in an accident with another driver may want to speak with a personal injury attorney in order to find out if the other driver was cited for distracted driving.

Source: newsroom.aaa.com, "AAA reveals top driving distractions for teens as '100 deadliest days' begins", June 1, 2016

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