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Teens are vulnerable to distraction and drowsiness when driving

On Behalf of | Jul 5, 2024 | Car Accidents |

Although distracted driving is a known cause of many auto accidents, Montana does not have a ban on the practice. This makes it even more important for people to remember that there is a significant chance that the people they are sharing the road with might not be paying strict attention to what they are doing behind the wheel.

Teens are particularly at risk for distraction. Since they are relatively new to the road, are dealing with inexperience and maturity issues, they are automatically at high risk for mistakes that can cause accidents with injuries and death. When adding distraction to the mix, it can be a deadly combination.

Safety advocates have tried to emphasize to teens that distracted driving can be inherently dangerous. Still, many will be unable to resist the temptation to check their devices when driving or will be distracted in other ways. This is coming to the forefront just as another problem for teen drivers – drowsiness – is being discussed. It is added to intoxication as a common catalyst for accidents. Those who have been in an auto accident with a teen should know that these factors could have played a role and act accordingly when weighing options.

Teen drivers learn of dangers with texting and drowsiness

Recently, teens in Butte were given lessons on how distraction and intoxication can impact their ability to drive safely. Using an obstacle course, teens were challenged by distraction and by wearing “beer goggles.” Those who took part stated they finally realized how much these behaviors can hinder their ability to drive safely.

Simply glancing down at a device means a vehicle will move an extended distance while the driver is not paying attention. This is exacerbated if the driver is texting, talking on the phone, looking at social media, playing games, changing music or engaging in other distracting behaviors.

Drivers are vulnerable to the temptation of checking their device when they are driving. It is even worse for teens who might not have the self-control to stop themselves and believe they can multitask safely.

Drowsiness is not frequently discussed as a driving challenge for the general population. It is often relegated to truckers and those who work odd hours. However, it is increasingly problematic for teens. A recent study from the National Sleep Foundation came to some worrisome conclusions regarding drowsy driving.

It said that one out of six teens admitted that they drove while drowsy. At least 400,000 do so a minimum of one time each week. It inordinately impacts teens who work. They have double the chance of driving drowsy when compared to their non-working counterparts. Nearly all stated they were aware of how drowsy driving placed them and others in jeopardy of an accident, but they believed it was not on the same level as distraction or intoxication.

Accidents with teens need to be scrutinized

Those who are involved in any type of motor vehicle accident can face extensive challenges in the aftermath. That includes medical expenses from catastrophic injuries, uncertainty about when they will get back to work, trouble interacting with a family and a questionable future. Families who have lost a loved one will have even more questions as to what to do in the aftermath.

To make a full recovery, those who were harmed or lost a loved one should know the value of experienced guidance that understands Montana and has a history of helping those who have faced challenges due to an accident.


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