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Researchers analyze distracted driving habits

Teen drivers in New York and throughout the country are the most likely to engage in distracted driving. Teen drivers are also the most likely to get into accidents, and accidents can occur because of cellphone use or rubbernecking while passing the scene of another crash. Younger drivers may be prone to using their phones to send or read text messages, browse the internet or complete other tasks.

These were the findings of a research team from MSU that analyzed the behavior of 3,400 drivers between 2011 and 2013. The drivers themselves were tracked using a variety of tools. According to one of the researchers, the project was one of the most detailed of its kind as it allowed the team to determine what drivers were doing before crashes took place. Typically, crash studies rely on police reports and other information gathered after a collision takes place.

Ideally, teens will put away their phones before they start driving to reduce their odds of being distracted behind the wheel. This is because simply holding a phone or listening to someone else talking can cause a driver to become distracted. The findings were released ahead of Teen Driver Safety Week, which begins on Oct. 20.

Drivers who are talking, texting or otherwise distracted prior to car accidents may be deemed responsible for causing them to happen. Those who are victims of another driver's negligence may be entitled to compensation for medical bills and other damages related to the crash. Those who need to remain out of work while recovering from their injuries may be entitled to reimbursement for lost wages or lost future earnings. An attorney may help accident victims pursue financial and other relief both in and out of court.

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