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Study finds one-third of teens text and drive

Teenagers in New Mexico and elsewhere are most likely to engage in distracted driving, according to a recent study. The study was published in the Journal of Adolescent Health in September.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that approximately nine Americans are killed in distracted driving car accidents each day. While many things can cause a driver to become distracted while behind the wheel, cellphone use is one of the most common culprits. To find out how common cellphone use is among young drivers, researchers analyzed data from the 2015 Youth Risk Behavior Survey, which tracked the driving habits of 101,000 teenagers from 35 states. They found that almost 40 percent of teens admitted to sending either a text or an email while driving in the last 30 days. They also found that the older the teen was, the more likely he or she was to engage in texting and driving. For example, 56 percent of teens age 18 or above admitted to texting and driving, compared to only 15 percent of 14-year-olds.

South Dakota had the highest percentage of teen drivers who admitted to texting and driving at 64 percent. Meanwhile, more than 50 percent of teens in Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota and Wyoming admitted to texting and driving. Maryland had the lowest percentage of teens who text and drive at 26 percent. In addition, the survey found that texting and driving is often linked with other risky driving behaviors, such as drinking and driving or failing to wear a seat belt.

Distracted driving causes thousands of serious car accidents every year. In order to recover medical expenses and other damages, it may be necessary for injured victims to file a personal injury lawsuit against the responsible driver. Victims may learn more about their legal options by consulting with an attorney.

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