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Teen drivers: Distracted by more than their phones

Students all across Texas have been eager to get some time off from school during Spring Break this month. Whether they stay close to home or travel elsewhere for vacation, many young people try to take as much advantage of their break as they can. Because many students will be relaxing and driving around with friends, this could also be a good time to remind parents and teens alike that distracted driving is dangerous.

Young drivers may already reassure parents that they know not to text while driving. They may promise that they disable texting or keep their phone out of reach, and this is all certainly a good thing. However, a recent report suggests that teens are distracted by activities and things other than their phones, and it is leading to serious accidents.

According to the report by NPR, teen drivers questioned in a survey admitted that they do things like change clothes or their shoes while driving, finish homework or even put in contact lenses all while they should be focused on driving.

On the bright side, the report noted that the number of teens who said they engaged in texting while driving decreased, though 40 percent of them still do it.

Too many people make the mistake of assuming that as long as they don't use their phone while driving, they are not distracted. However, the above-mentioned behaviors, along with other common activities like grooming and eating, are all examples of distracted driving that require drivers to take their hands off the wheel and their focus and eyes away from the road.

While the message about the dangers of texting and driving may be reaching young drivers, the overall issue with distracted driving is still quite troubling. Parents should make it a point to discuss this with their teen drivers, and motorists of all ages should remember that distracted driving is dangerous and can lead to serious, catastrophic accidents. Should distraction play a role in a crash, it is possible that the victims will have grounds to pursue a personal injury claim against the driver who was not paying attention.

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