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Teens may get not texting and driving, but not other distractions

There are a lot of important things for teenage drivers to remember when they get behind the wheel of a car. It's for their protection and other drivers, of course. The biggest keyword phrase these days seems to be distracted driving.

Considering that distracted driving is acknowledged to be the leading cause of car accidents that result in serious injury or death, it's no surprise that there are strong efforts to prevent it. In Connecticut, the law is quite clear. Drivers who are 18 or younger are banned from using a cellphone in any way, for talking or texting.

The good news is that most kids are hearing and understanding the message. According to a recent survey by transportation scientists at Oregon State University, about 40 percent of teenage respondents admitted they text while driving. As high as that is, it's lower than in earlier studies.

What researchers say is more disturbing is that young drivers may not seem to appreciate that other activities they engage in are just as distracting. For example, 27 percent revealed that they sometimes change shoes and clothes while driving. An additional untold number said they often put in or take out contact lenses while driving, put on makeup or do homework at the wheel.

The researcher responsible for the poll says kids just don't seem be aware of what constitutes a distraction. He says even changing the station on the radio can be as dangerous as texting. His recommendation is that driver-training programs do more to stress that multitasking of any kind should be avoided.

It doesn't matter what distraction might cause an accident. Those who fall victim to such circumstances need to know that they have rights that include seeking compensation for damage, injuries and the costs of recovery. To pursue them, it's best to seek the help of an experienced and dedicated attorney.

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