in the sectionOur areas of practice

Study: Many teenagers change clothes, do homework behind the wheel

A new study discovered that many teenagers change their clothes, do homework and put on makeup while operating a motor vehicle.

According to NPR, a new study discovered that most teenagers recognize that texting while driving is unsafe. However, this study also found that many teenagers in Pennsylvania and throughout the country are less aware that other distracting activities can increase their risk of causing car accidents that result in serious injuries or death.

During the course of this study, twenty seven percent of the teenagers who participated said that they sometimes changes their clothes or shoes while their vehicle is in motion. Some of the teenagers also admitted that they often put on makeup, change their contact lenses or complete homework while driving.

The three types of distraction

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention states that distracted driving includes any activity that takes a driver's full attention away from operating a vehicle. There are also three different types of driver distraction, which include:

  • Cognitive - drivers can become cognitively distracted when they no longer mentally focus on driving. For example, a driver can become cognitively distracted when he or she thinks intently about what has to be done after arriving at work.
  • Manual - manual distraction occurs when drivers remove their hands from the steering wheel as their vehicle is in motion. For instance, a driver can become manually distracted when he or she reaches for a CD on the passenger seat of the vehicle.
  • Visual - drivers can become visually distracted when they look at something other than the road in front of them. For instance, a driver who looks at his or her GPS device to get directions is visually distracted.

Although any form of distraction can cause a motor vehicle collision that results in serious accident injuries for those involved, texting and driving is particularly dangerous. This is because texting and driving is cognitively, manually and visually distracting.

Many are injured or killed every day

When drivers change their clothes, eat, use their cellphone or do homework behind the wheel, they contribute to the extensive distracted driving problem that exists in Pennsylvania and throughout the country. According to the CDC, over nine people are killed and more than 1,000 are injured every day in collisions involving distraction.

Car accident victims in Pennsylvania may have a difficult time returning to work, school or their other normal daily activities. They may also require medical and rehabilitative care for an extended period of time. If you were injured in a car accident, reach out to an attorney to determine what compensation may be available to you.