When a driver is engaged in something other than focusing on the road, this is known as distracted driving. While some common examples of distracted driving involve texting, eating or talking on a cell phone while behind the wheel, this can include many behaviors one might not expect. Illinois residents might find it surprising that an Oregon State University study found that some teenagers do homework, change clothes and switch shoes while driving.
The study reported that 27 percent of the teens interviewed admitted to multitasking while behind the wheel. Some teens even admitted to changing contact lenses or putting on makeup while driving. The study indicated that texting and driving campaigns appeared to be working as fewer students reported this behavior, but there are other dangers of which teens are not aware. A representative of the study said that adjusting a GPS or changing radio stations can be just as dangerous as texting and driving.
Teens are not the only ones who increase their risk for car accidents by multitasking as one of the leading causes of crashes for motorists of any age is distracted driving, and using a cell phone while driving is a big problem for adults and teens. However, parents who make an effort to practice safe driving techniques and talk to their children about driving safely may also make a difference when influencing teens.
After an accident occurs, authorities investigate what happened and try to determine the cause of the wreck. The police can find out if a driver used a cell phone by talking to witnesses or checking phone records. If distracted driving resulted in a collision that caused another person’s injuries, then the negligent driver may be liable for the victim’s costs relating to the accident.