Maryland Injury News: Distracted Driving Blamed for Increasing Number of Fatal Teenage Automobile Accidents

As parents will no doubt attest, teenagers can be easily distracted by a wide range of external stimuli. While this may be amusing to some, and a frustration to their parents and teachers, it is serious business once these kids start to driver motor vehicles. Driver’s education can only go so far to warn these future drivers to be aware of potential and deadly distractions on the road. But apparently much more needs to be done, as recently released government data suggests.

As a Maryland and D.C. auto accident attorney, I understand the myriad of ways that a driver can become distracted on the road, the result of which is many times a traffic accident. New and inexperienced drivers can be especially susceptible to having their concentration diverted. In some cases, and more often than any parent of a teenage driver would like to think about, fatalities can result. In short, distracted driving may be killing more American teenagers than ever before.

According to U.S. Government data, more than 4,000 teenagers lose their lives in traffic accidents that are caused predominantly by “distracted driving.” This includes distractions from having too many noisy occupants in the vehicle to talking on a cellphone while operating a passenger car. However, a new bill recently introduced by Congress may help in reducing this terrible trend.

According to estimates, of the more than 30,000 highway traffic deaths that happened in 2008 across the U.S., nearly 12 percent involved 15- to 20-year-old drivers. Records show that most of the deaths were a result of distracted driving. According to Allstate Insurance, the main cause of distracted-driving wrecks is cellphone use.

According to the insurance company’s statistics, texting while driving makes an accident 23 times more likely to happen. Just reaching for a cellphone as it is ringing means you are nine times more likely to have an accident versus normal driving. These two acts, according to the article, is similar to having four beers and driving.

The U.S. Department of Transportation says distracted driving is a critical problem, and has called it an epidemic in America because nearly every American — including a lot of teenagers of driving age — owns a cellphone and believes that he or she can safely “talk and drive.” Many experts believe it simply cannot be done at all.

Distracted Driving Killing More American Teens,, June 24, 2010

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