10 Distractions for Novice Drivers and How Much They Increase the Risk of Crashes

distracted-driving alaskaThe New England Journal of Medicine recently published an extensive study that looked at different types of distractions present for drivers in an attempt to measure just how much the risk of accidents rose as a result of each. The study used two groups of drivers – experienced and novice – and tracked them with several different devices while they drove as part of their routines. They found that novice drivers substantially increased their risk of being involved in a crash because of distractions but that experienced drivers generally avoided these problems relative to their younger counterparts.

A link to the study can be found here, but below you will find 10 different distractions that were recorded during the driving study and how much those distractions increased the risk of a crash for those novice drivers who were between the ages of 15 and 20 years old.

  1. Dialing a Cell Phone

Novice drivers increased their risk of a crash by a factor of 8.32 when dialing on the face of a phone.

  1. Reaching for an Object

Young drivers who reached for an object other than a phone increased the risk of a crash by a factor of 8.

  1. Reaching for a Cell Phone

Reaching for a cell phone occurred often enough that it was measured separately, and the risk of a crash rose by a factor of 7.05 when this happened.

  1. Looking at a Roadside Object

It seems that the eyes of younger drivers tended to wander, and looking at an object increased the risk of a crash by a factor of 3.9.

  1. Texting or Using the Internet

This distraction ranks surprisingly low on this list, as novice drivers who engaged in this activity increased their risk of a crash by a factor of 3.87.

  1. Eating

Food can be a distraction while driving, and for novice drivers in this study doing so increased the risk of an accident by a factor of 2.99.

  1. Adjusting Controls Other Than Those for Radio or HVAC

Modern cars have a lot of gadgets inside of them, and they distract younger drivers. This activity raised the risk of a crash by a factor of 2.6.

  1. Adjusting Radio or HVAC

Novice drivers who adjusted either of these features increased the risk of a crash by a factor of 1.37.

  1. Drinking Non-Alcoholic Beverage

Consuming even a non-alcoholic beverage increased the risk of a crash by a factor of 1.36.

  1. Talking on a Cell Phone

Surprisingly, talking on a cell phone only increased the risk of a crash for young drivers by a factor of 0.61.

Dialing a cell phone was also the most dangerous distraction for experienced drivers, as they were 2.49 times more likely to be involved in a crash if they did so. What this all means is that distracted driving is not only dangerous, but extremely dangerous to the point where it almost invites serious problems. That’s why people who are distracted and who cause accidents need to be held accountable. If this has happened to you or to someone you love, contact the Alaska injury lawyers at Barber and Associates, LLC today to schedule a free initial consultation.

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