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Teens become distracted quickly behind the wheel

Teen drivers face many risks behind the wheel due to their inexperience and tendency to take risks. Teen drivers are more likely to be killed in car accidents in the United States, and a new study may help explain why.

A new study says that teen drivers become distracted very quickly and have an increased risk for being in car accidents. The researchers reported that teen drivers are still learning how to drive in different situations so when they become distracted, the risk of being in an accident increases.

The study said teens are more likely to get into a car accident when they take their eyes off the road. There are many different types of distractions teen drivers are susceptible to, including texting, dialing on their cellphones, eating, reaching for an object and looking at scenery. All of these distractions increase the risk of being in a car accident. 

The researchers said that it is still dangerous for drivers of all ages to partake in distracting activities. However, they found that more experienced drivers wait until traffic conditions are safer before dialing on a cellphone or any of the other activities mentioned. 

The researchers said that teen drivers tend to become distracted at very risky times because they do not quickly recognize potential hazards like vehicles slowing down or people crossing the street. If they choose to text during this time, they are more likely to crash because of the traffic conditions. 

The finding that teen drivers become distracted quickly is not that surprising and could explain why teen drivers are more likely to be killed in car accidents. Distracted driving is known to be very dangerous and increase the chances of being in a car accident. Safety groups should use this study to raise awareness about the dangers of distracted driving among teen drivers to teach them safe driving practices that may lead to fewer fatal car accidents. 

Source: US News, "Teen Drivers Become Distracted Quickly," Steven Reinberg, Jan. 2, 2014

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