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New report shows danger of teenage distracted drivers

Teen motorists often drive while distracted, despite knowing risks.

If you are the parent of a teenager, you are likely aware that your child's cellphone could practically be considered a part of his or her body, as teens almost always have their phone in their hand. While this can be irritating around the house, the practice can be dangerous and even deadly when teens are behind the wheel.

According to a new report - released by the Governors Highway Safety Association - teen drivers are the group most likely to be distracted at the time of a fatal auto accident in the United States. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 10 percent of motorists between 16 and 19 years of age were distracted when they caused a fatal accident.

In addition, 57 percent of the individuals killed in such distracted driving crashes were the teenage motorists behind the wheel. In fact, motor vehicle accidents are the number one killer of individuals between the ages of 15 and 20.

The report revealed some interesting contradictions. Over 87 percent of teenagers between 16 and 18 years of age reported that texting or emailing while behind the wheel was at least a "somewhat serious" if not "serious" threat to their safety. Nevertheless, as teens gained experience behind the wheel, they were likely to engage in these distracting behaviors, despite the risks.

Distracted driving collisions in Georgia

Across the country, states have enacted laws to prohibit some distracting behaviors behind the wheel. Georgia is no exception.

In Georgia, novice drivers - those under 18 years of age with instruction permits or class D licenses - are not allowed to use cellphones of any kind behind the wheel. The ban includes cellphones with hands-free technology. A similar prohibition is in place for bus drivers in Georgia.

In addition, all motorists in Georgia are prohibited from texting while behind the wheel.

In total, almost 3,330 people died in distracted driving collisions in the United States in 2012, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. In addition, approximately 421,000 people suffered injuries in crashes caused by distracted drivers that year.

Motorists who participate in distracting behaviors - such as talking or texting on a cellphone - when behind the wheel are at risk of causing a serious auto accident. If you or someone you love has been involved in a distracted driving crash in Georgia, you need to take action to protect your rights. Consider seeking the counsel of an experienced personal injury attorney, who will work to ensure your interests are safeguarded.

Keywords: texting, distracted driving, Georgia

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