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New Jersey teens know the risks, but continue to drive distracted

With all the attention that has been paid to distracted driving in recent years, it is almost shocking to read statistics indicating that drivers continue to text and talk while behind the wheel. Yet according to a new survey of teenage drivers, that is exactly what is happening: about 30 percent of respondents stated that they had sent or read a text while driving in the past month, and nearly half said that they had made a cell phone call without a hands-free device.

What is perhaps the most shocking revelation of the study is that the drivers surveyed were not unaware that texting or talking behind the wheel significantly increases their chances of being involved in an auto accident. In fact, about 80 percent of the survey respondents said that they knew of the risks.

According to a separate survey conducted by the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), young drivers between the ages of 18 and 20 are the most likely to be involved in crashes caused by distracted driving. Those dangerous behaviors decrease with age, the study found: teen drivers are three times more likely to read or send a text message or email behind the wheel than drivers over the age of 25.

The NHTSA reports that about 3,100 people were killed in "distracted-affected crashes" in 2010, making up 9.4 percent of all the traffic deaths on U.S. roads that year.

If you have been injured in a car accident caused by distracted driving, contact Breslin & Breslin for a free consultation with a personal injury attorney.

Source: Reuters, "Young drivers know risks, but text anyway: survey," May 8, 2012

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