Teen driver distraction in New York: Are parents partially to blame

Many parents in New York worry that their teenage child will use his or her cellphone and endanger the lives of other passengers, drivers and pedestrians when he or she drives a vehicle. Although many parents share this concern, a new study reveals that parents may be partially to blame for the high rate of teenage car accidents caused by distraction.

According to Today, of the teens who participated in the study, 53 percent of those who admitted that they talked on their cellphone while driving were talking with one of their parents. Additionally, approximately 18 percent of all of the 18-year-old participants reported that they had texted with their parents as they drove a car.

Conflicting desires put teens at risk

Parents do not necessarily want their child to text or call them while he or she is driving a vehicle. However, Today states that parents are still tempted to do so because they want to know where their child is and what they are doing when they are away from home. In comparison, teenage drivers may be compelled to use their cellphone and operate a vehicle because they know that their parents may get mad at them if they don't respond to texts and calls.

Distracted driving laws in New York

Although many teenagers text and drive, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest Youth Risk Behavior Survey found that 41 percent of driving teens in the U.S. had texted or emailed while driving; this activity is prohibited for drivers of all ages in New York. To prevent the significant injuries and fatalities that often occur as a result of distracted driving-related accidents, according to New York state, drivers are not allowed to hold an electronic device and:

  • View, take or transmit images
  • Play games
  • Speak with another person on a cellphone
  • Read, access, browse, compose, transmit, receive or save electronic data, which includes text messages, web pages and emails

Drivers who disobey this law may be required to pay a fine and may also have points added to their driving record.

Injuries and fatalities still occur

Despite this ban on electronic device usage and driving, many drivers in New York and throughout the country are injured or killed in accidents involving a distracted driver every day. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over 1,153 people are injured and more than nine people are killed on a daily basis in distracted driving-related collisions. If you sustained injuries in an accident caused by a distracted driver, speak with an attorney to find out what compensation may be available to you.