Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on March 28th, 2014,
by Zane Cagle

New Study Finds Teens Define “Safe Driving” in a Risky Way

Posted on March 28th, 2014 by Zane Cagle

teen driversIn a recent study released by a SADD and Liberty Mutual, there was a sharp contrast between teens’ acknowledgment of dangerous driving behaviors and their actions behind the wheel.

Teens know that drinking alcohol or using their cell phone is dangers while driving. Thanks to groups like SADD (Students Against Drunk Driving)  and MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving), teens have been informed and made aware in a variety of ways through presentations, reenactments and all kinds of prevention activities to reduce the number of drunk driving accidents among teens.

Why Be Alarmed?

The report found that teens seem to have a different definition of “engagement” regarding these potentially deadly driving behaviors.  From drinking or texting while driving to using a designated driver, the new survey highlights a sharp contrast between what teens acknowledge as risky behavior and what they actually admit to doing behind the wheel.  Auto accidents are the number one cause of teen deaths and serious injuries, so unsafe driving behaviors may only increase those numbers rather than reduce.

What is Under the Influence?

According to survey results, teens claim to understand the danger surrounding drinking and driving:

  • The majority (865) of teen drivers consider driving under the influence of alcohol to be extremely or very distracting
  • Only 1 percent of teen define driving under the influence as acceptable
  • Only 5 percent of teens admit to at least sometimes driving under the influence of alcohol

Knowledge Compared to Real World Behavior–Teen’s Definition of Under the Influence

  • Only 1 in 10 teens who say they Never drive under the influence acknowledge that they occasionally driver after having an alcoholic beverage
  • More than 52o-thrids of teens (68 percent) who admit to driving under the influence of alcohol say they have done so after having more than three alcoholic beverages.

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), with a quarter of fatal crashes involving young drivers resulting from drinking and driving, these statistics should serve as a reminder that even one drink can be way too many for teens or adults

“While many teens seem to have gotten the message about these driving dangers, the real challenge is to make sur they understand that even a sip of alcohol or quick text at a red light can be deadly,” said David Melton, driving safety expert with the Liberty Mutual Insurance and managing director of global safety. “Teens need to realize that it’s not acceptable to put an allowable limit to their engagement in these behaviors–they need to be eliminated entirely when they are behind the wheel”.

What Does a Designated Driver Really Mean?

While 21 percent of teens interviewed defined the designated driver as someone who is “basically sober” and define their designated driver has allowed to have a little alcohol or other drug as long as they are not too impaired.  In contrast, a designated driver must be someone is has not had ANY alcohol or other drug.

Teens’ Definition of Talking/Texting Behind the Wheel

While an overwhelming 96 percent of teen drivers understand that using a cell phone while driving-either talking or texting is at least, distracting. However, a majority (86 percent) still admit to using a cell phone behind the wheel.  Nearly half (47 percent) who say they never text while driving, still admit that they text at a red light or stop sign.

The important thing for all drivers to know:

Any time you pull out your cell phone whether you are moving or at a stop light, it is distracted. If you must use your cell phone, pull over to a safe place.

Distracted driving is the number one cause of car accidents whether it involves teens or adults.  Distracted and inattentiveness to driving and the roadway contributes or causes motor vehicle accidents daily. If you have been in an auto accident, you probably have a lot of questions including whose insurance company is liable?  What is a fair amount for your injuries? And, what about your future medical costs and how will they be paid?

At The Cagle Law Firm, we are experienced car accident attorneys and we know there are a lot of factors that go into your case including the severity of your injury and the causes or contributing causes of the accident.  Negotiating with insurance companies can be confusing if you do not do it on a daily basis. Our attorneys understand the complexity of the process and we are here to assist you. We are available seven days a week, toll free (800)685-3302 or locally (314) 276-1681 for free consultations