Texting and driving among teens: The technology is going to get you

| Jan 12, 2021 | Texting and Driving

Many adults fear sharing the road with teens because teens have limited driving knowledge. Adults also worry about the other behaviors that teens may engage in while behind the wheel of their cars. Distractions such as conversations with others, reaching for something and getting caught up in the music are the more prominent concerns. 

Texting and driving, however, still tops the charts when it comes to concerns associated with young drivers.

How big of an issue is texting and driving in the U.S.?

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) data shows that teens between the ages of 16 and 19 have the highest per-mile accident rate of all motorists. While many of these accidents are likely attributable to a lack of driving know-how, others are due to distractions. Cell phone use, and more specifically, texting and driving is often responsible for these crashes. Because of this, many states, including New York, have strict texting and driving laws in place to prosecute anyone guilty of such an offense.

How are auto manufacturers and tech companies trying to curb texting and driving rates?

Carmakers consistently develop technology that will make their cars more desirable and enhance driver safety. There’s been an uptick in technology rollouts aimed at curbing reckless driving among all motorists, including teens. Some vehicles now feature options apps that allow parents to remotely check-in to see if their young driver buckles their seat belt, controls how loud the radio is and sets a top speed limit or alert if they drive their car outside the area. 

There are also phone applications (apps) that keep a user from utilizing their phone while driving. Insurance companies have even recently begun requiring that potential customers install an app that tracks their driving behaviors, including speed and phone use, before issuing a quote for coverage. 

Are there any downsides to driving apps?

Many parents appreciate how the latest technology allows them to keep better tabs on their kids. Law enforcement officers do. too. 

Police in many jurisdictions can request to see your phone if you have an accident or engage in reckless driving. They can look at the history and see whether you were using it in the moments before an incident. It may be possible for prosecutors to use such evidence against you. An attorney can advise you of the penalties associated with this traffic offense in New York and defend your rights.