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Study reveals disturbing data on teen distracted driving

Just in time for Teen Driver Safety Week (October 20 to 29, 2016), researchers have released the results of a study involving teens and distracted driving. Parents in Wyoming should raise awareness of the danger of distractions among their teenage children, especially the danger of phone use.

Overall, phone use was the second riskiest distracted driving activity, according to the Michigan State University study. Crash risk was at its highest when teens would look at external objects such as billboards, accident scenes and so on.

For the study, researchers monitored the driving habits of 3,400 teens between 2011 and 2013. By actually filming the drivers' activities, researchers gathered valuable data that previous studies, mostly relying on police reports, failed to offer. Researchers took note of all the possible distractions that led to a crash and divided them into 60 categories. Among these were talking on the phone, browsing the web and texting.

Regardless of the type of distraction, teens are the most likely age group to be distracted behind the wheel. They also experience a higher rate of distracted driving crashes than any other age group. It should be remembered that anything that takes a driver's eyes off the street constitutes a distraction.

Some cases of distracted driving can be easy to prove and argue. If drivers were talking on the phone, investigators may obtain the phone records to prove an injury victim's case. If drivers were simply daydreaming, however, there may be complications. Someone who has been injured at the hands of a negligent driver may want a lawyer by their side. No matter how clear-cut a case may seem to be, a plaintiff will likely face opposition from insurance companies.

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