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Louisiana teens may be multitasking while driving

Even minor multitasking while driving can cause a driver to be distracted, putting everyone in the vicinity at risk of harm. Teen drivers, in particular, may not recognize when their behavior behind the wheel could be dangerous. Though safety campaigns have raised awareness of the risks involved with texting and driving, a study shows that adolescents participate in other activities not necessarily mentioned in driver education courses that could cause car accidents.

According to one report, students tend to use time in the car to accomplish tasks, such as putting on make-up, finishing homework or changing clothes. Around 40 percent of the teens admitted to texting behind the wheel and demonstrated limited awareness of the risks of taking their focus off the road to complete a cognitive or physical task. Since distracted driving causes the majority of all motor vehicle accidents, it is suggested that driver education courses need to emphasize what constitutes unsafe driving and alternatives. For example, students could be advised to pull over when manipulating a GPS device rather than doing so while driving.

Participants of the study also took part in an educational course on the effects of distraction on their ability to perform tasks. The experience produced some results supporting the benefits to incorporating awareness tactics into established education programs. The researchers indicated that parental guidance also plays an instrumental role in teaching teens about avoiding a car accident. Thus, maximizing the benefits of available resources could reduce some of the risky behaviors occurring.

Drivers have a legal obligation to practice safe driving for the benefit of the general public. A lawyer could review the details of an accident to determine if distracted driving caused the injuries to the accident victim and if the situation warrants legal action.

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