Massachusetts examining ways to reduce teen distracted driving

More training may be coming for teen drivers to help them break bad habits before they get behind the wheel.

Massachusetts has very strict laws concerning the licensing of teen drivers. Those 15 or older are eligible for a learner's permit, allowing them to begin driving, as long as they have passengers at least 21 years old who have been licensed for at least one year.

Before these drivers can get their junior operators' licenses, they must have a clean driving record for at least six months. These drivers will have to complete 30 hours of in-class instruction, along with 12 hours of actual driving time with an instructor. They must also observe a peer's driving for another six hours.

Some within the state feel that this is not enough time to help ensure that these drivers know and understand how to be safe while behind the wheel. Many teen drivers still are easily distracted while driving, leading to several serious car accidents across the state.

In a survey by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), over 40 percent of teens nationwide admitted to texting or emailing while they were driving. In Massachusetts, this number drops to 32 percent, the lowest in the country. However, this is still concerning to officials. Correcting these behaviors before they become habits is a top priority within the state. Several awareness campaigns have been conducted at schools to help demonstrate the dangers of distracted driving.

For those involved in car crash, it is important to collect as much information as possible at the scene. This can be extremely beneficial if they need to file a lawsuit to recover compensation for the accident. Witnesses will be able to tell the court what happened, while photos can demonstrate the condition of the vehicles immediately after the crash. If drivers admitted to being distracted, be sure that this is noted on any reports made by police.

If you have been injured in a motor vehicle accident, you should contact an experienced personal injury attorney to discuss your next steps. You may not have any prior experience dealing with these sorts of issues, and be unaware of some of the types of compensation that you may be able to collect.

It is not uncommon for insurance companies to be very aggressive in their efforts to settle your claims. You may receive offers from these companies that may seem to be fair, but you need to understand that these companies are not looking out for you. They want to pay you as little as possible. Be sure that you discuss any of these offers with your attorney before you make any final decisions. You could be seriously undervaluing your claims, which may place a severe financial strain upon your family.

Keywords: car accidents, distracted driving, teen driving, personal injury