Teen drivers in Louisiana and across the nation will not have experience on their side when they are behind the wheel. That lack of driving experience lends itself to mistakes, like driving distracted, that can cause an auto accident.. After an auto accident with a teen, determining if it was due to distraction can be a key point for a victim to consider when evaluating options.

A study from the National Institutes of Health says that teens who are distracted behind the wheel have seven times the chance of being in an auto accident. Researchers tracked 82 Virginia teens who had just gotten their licenses for a year.

During that time, 25 of them had an accident, and 14 had multiple accidents. The behaviors just prior to the crashes were recorded and analyzed. It showed that beyond cellphone distractions, simply being distracted by reaching for something or holding something multiplied the chances of being in an auto accident seven times over.

Those who were texting, dialing a phone manually or surfing the web doubled the chance of an accident. For each second they were not looking at the road, the possibility of a crash rose by 28 percent.

Teens were also distracted by so-called “secondary tasks.” These involved eating, drinking and personal hygiene activities.

Strategies to improve safety include intervening to make sure young drivers understand the importance of watching the road and educating them on how secondary tasks can also place them and others in jeopardy.

An auto accident can change lives in multiple ways. The victim can have serious injuries with the accompanying medical expenses and lost time at work. The family can be confronted with needing to care for an injured loved one for an extended period and even for the remainder of their lives.

If the accident involved a teen and distracted driving might have been the cause, having assistance from a law firm that understands how to investigate car accidents and move forward with a legal filing for compensation is an important step.