New Law Targets Teen Cell Phone Use While Driving

The dangers of driving while being engaged in cell phone use are no secret. One scientific study found that in a six-year span, 16,000 deaths were caused specifically due to cell phone use while driving. Further, a high number of these distracted drivers were under 30. While overall accident occurrence is lower than it has been in decades, the cause of accidents being due to distractions has soared.

Teenagers are becoming increasingly dependent on their mobile phones, with a 256% increase in use just during 20122 alone. 40% of teens spend 4 hours a day on their phones, and 69% chose their phone as their most important electronic device. Suffice to say, getting teenagers to put their phone downs is a challenge. This is especially problematic during the time when teens begin to drive.

Car accidents are the leading cause of death in teens, and teenaged drivers are four times more likely to get into a crash than older drivers. However, teens underestimate or don’t recognize dangerous situations and drive more recklessly. This is when cell phone use and driving becomes a hazardous issue.

To combat the risks that teen drivers face, a new bill has been proposed in Arizona that would restrict cell phone use. Teens driving with a learner’s permit or graduated license would be prohibited from cell phone use; a graduated license puts restrictions on the amount of passengers in the car as well as the hours they are allowed to drive at night. HB 2348 passed in the Senate this month, and will move on for House consideration.

Whether it’s the law or not, it’s important to keep your teen from making poor choices while driving. Here are ways to keep your teen safe on the road:

  • Be clear. Set a well-defined household rule regarding cell phone use. Just like curfews and budgets, this is an issue that needs to be discussed openly and followed without question.
  • Be a positive role model. Set the example for your teen by putting your phone away. This will not only teach a good lesson, but keep you and other drivers safe, as well.
  • Don’t be afraid of consequences. If you find out that your teen is using their phone while driving, be strict and enforce the household law. Revoke driving or cell phone privileges for a time and remind your teen why your rules are necessary.
  • Educate. Visit websites such as Impact and Distraction to read and watch real stories of people who have been affected by teen distracted driving and learn facts and statistics about the issue.
  • Know the law. While your teen should follow your household rules, keep up-to-date on local and national laws about distracted driving and teen driving. Like HB 2348, bills are being proposed all the time, and adding the threat of a ticket can help deter teens from using their cell phones.

Have you or someone you know been injured in a car accident due to distracted or negligent driving? The attorneys at Friedl Richardson provide a complimentary consultation to provide you with the settlement you deserve.