By now, almost everyone is likely aware of the dangers of operating a motor vehicle while distracted. In spite of the danger, studies continue to show that teens and young adults are still texting while driving. One Massachusetts high school recently hosted a clinic to demonstrate to students exactly how dangerous it is to take one’s eyes off road.
The course, dubbed “Distractology,” was intended to show young drivers just how quick an accident can occur once they look away from the road. Approximately 120 high school students in Lawrence were given an opportunity to take a test drive on a virtual simulator through a city-type setting. The computer prompts the drivers to send or read a text at random intervals. The drivers then attempted to drive at speeds of 50 mph while texting.
One student stated that he thought he could handle it for just seconds at a time; he was wrong. The insurance company that sponsored the training exercise noted that the average text takes a driver’s attention away from the road for an estimated 4.6 seconds. In that time, if the vehicle is moving at 55 mph, the distance of an athletic field is traveled, blindly. An estimated 71 to 78 percent of teen and young adult drivers have admitted to sending or reading texts while behind the wheel.
Regardless of the efforts to educate the driving public about the dangers inherent in distracted driving, there has not been an appreciable drop in the numbers of drivers who are texting while driving. It is too early to judge whether the program hosted by the Massachusetts company will make a difference. Those who have been a victim of an accident caused by distracted driving or other negligence of another party may file a personal injury civil lawsuit in an effort to recoup the monetary damages incurred by these avoidable tragedies.
Source: insurancenewsnet.com, “Students get a ‘crash course’ in distracted driving”, Paul Tennant, Sept. 19, 2014