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What is causing distracted driving among teens in Louisiana?

Distracted driving among teenagers is a real problem. Nor does it all come down to texting; games, social media platforms and other apps are part of it.

Distracted driving among teens in Louisiana has many causes, including fumbling with the CD player, chatting with passengers in the front and back seats and texting on a cellphone. With quite a few teens, however, apps are more of a lure than texting. After all, apps cover a wide variety of games (Pokemon Go, for one) and social media platforms (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to name a few), and they are often even more distracting than texting. Here is a review of three top causes of teen distracted driving.

Anything cellphone-related

Whether it is to use an app or to text that has a teen reaching for his or her phone, the underlying point is clear: anything cellphone-related can distract teenagers. Even something seemingly harmless such as a teen taking a selfie at a red light while the car is stopped may result in the teen not seeing a pedestrian in front of the car until it is too late.

The good news is that technology may be part of the solution. Parents can use tech such as DeviceID to prevent drivers from using apps and text while a car is moving. Of course, a driver would still be able to use his or her phone at red lights. Some tools also offer parents scores of their teen’s driving.

Other passengers

More so than adults, teens may be at risk from the dangers posed by other passengers in a car. This is especially true if these passengers are friends or people the teens want to impress. Loud music, bragging, roughhousing, being tempted to glance over or in the backseat can all lead to bad outcomes. They definitely do weaken the focus a teen driver has on the road.

One thing parents can do is to set a rule that their teen can have no more than one teenage passenger in the car at any time.

Misconceptions and an inflated sense of immortality

Many teens do not realize how serious distracted driving is. In fact, it is one of the leading causes of teen driver deaths. Yet teens do not recognize the risk, and that makes them more likely to continue with distracted driving. Approaches for parents include extensive driver training and modeling good behavior for their children of all ages, for example, never using the cellphone themselves while driving.

Every year, distracted driving by teens in Louisiana impacts themselves and others, leading to lost wages, injuries and deaths, and a ripple effect that touches many lives. An attorney may be able to help if someone has been injured by a teenage driver.