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Teens become distracted easily behind the wheel

After teenagers get their driver's licenses, they often just want to grab the keys and get behind the wheel without a care in the world. Unfortunately, teen drivers have a higher risk for being in a car accident so this care-free behavior can be very dangerous.

A new study found that teen drivers become distracted drivers very fast after getting their driver's licenses and put themselves at a higher risk for being in serious and fatal car accidents. The study found that new teen drivers have a harder time handling certain traffic conditions due to their inexperience, and when they become distracted, they are more likely to be in an accident. 

The study said that distractions like texting, dialing on a cellphone, eating and looking at scenery while driving are all very dangerous and increase the chances of getting into an accident. The researchers said that anything that takes a driver's eyes off the road is risky and teens tend to become more distracted behind the wheel just months after getting their driver's license.

The finding that teens are more likely to become distracted while driving compared to more experienced drivers is a troubling finding. Teen drivers already have a higher risk of being in a car accident so the finding that they are more likely to become distracted highlights a significant safety issue that needs to be addressed. 

Car accidents are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They report that teen drivers are three times as likely to be in fatal car accidents compared to drivers age 20 and older, and this study may show one big reason why teens are more likely to be killed in car accidents. 

Source: KLTV, "Teen drivers become distracted quickly," Steven Reinberg, Jan. 2, 2014

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