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Efforts to Curb Distracted Teen Drivers on Long Island

teens driving while texting

Distracted driving is a growing problem across the country, and Long Island is no exception. Distracted driving accidents involving teens are particularly prevalent. According to SafeNY, in 2013, there were 16,052 personal injury crashes involving drivers ages 16 through 20 and 120 fatal crashes.

Data compiled by the state also reflects that teenagers are more likely to engage in dangerous driving behaviors such as reckless driving and distracted driving. About 13 percent of drivers of all ages who caused accidents were driving while distracted; that percentage rises to about 16 percent for the younger demographic.

New York has launched campaigns to curb dangerous driving for quite some time, but now, a new study from the University of Washington may provide a new focus for the initiatives to stop distracted driving and save lives.

Researchers say teens respond to technological solutions

The study, which was conducted by Dr. Beth Ebel and her colleagues, analyzed information collected from teen drivers over a six-month period. Twenty-nine teen drivers were divided into three groups, including a control group. The other two groups drove with technological systems that are already commercially available. Some of the teens had an in-vehicle camera system that switched on when the drivers engaged in high-risk driving behaviors, such as hard cornering, swerving, hard braking, and impacts.

When teens engaged in these behaviors, they and their parents later reviewed the video footage to give the drivers the opportunity to correct their risky behaviors behind the wheel. The last group of study participants had a program installed on their cellphones. This program blocked the teens from receiving or sending any texts or calls while operating the car.

Not surprisingly, the two groups that received these interventional technologies demonstrated better driving habits than the control group. Of the two, the teens with cellphone blocking technology performed the best. The researchers also noted that none of the study participants who received interventional technology attempted to circumvent the systems. Dr. Ebel indicated that she believes not enough is currently being done to reduce injuries and fatalities caused by distracted drivers, but that technological solutions may be a good starting point.

New York’s efforts to reduce distracted driving

New York has already launched initiatives aimed at curbing teen distracted driving on Long Island and across the state. In addition to public awareness campaigns and law enforcement crackdowns, the state has enacted strict legislation in an attempt to dissuade drivers from using their phones while behind the wheel. It increased driver violation points from three to five and for drivers with a probationary license or learner’s permit, a conviction results in a mandatory 120-day suspension. Subsequent convictions within six months results in license or permit revocation for at least one year.

Long Island distracted driver accident lawyer

At Edelman, Krasin & Jaye, we’ve been successfully advocating on behalf of accident victims since 1952. Our Long Island car accident lawyers take a personalized approach to distracted driver accident cases, taking the time to get to know you and your unique concerns.

Our law firm is offering free lawsuit reviews to victims of distracted teen drivers. Call us today at 1.800.469.7429 to schedule your complimentary consultation, during which we’ll thoroughly explain your legal rights and options.