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Distracted driving in Louisiana: Top concerns for teen drivers

Distracted driving is responsible for an estimated 60 percent of all crashes in Louisiana. The issue is so prevalent that lawmakers are getting involved. Lawmakers recently proposed Louisiana House Bill 619. If passed, the law would ban the use of hand held devices while driving.

Although cellphone use is a dangerous distraction, it is not the most common contributing factor for teen distracted driving accidents.

The top concerns for distracted driving practices with teenage drivers are, in order:

  • Passengers. Teenagers are at an increased risk of an accident when they have other teenagers in the vehicle. Parents can help reduce the risk by having a "no teenage passengers" rule. This will remove the most common distracting factor teenagers currently face when driving.
  • Cellphones. Although not the leading cause of teen distracted driving accidents, cellphones still pose a big problem. If passed, the bill noted above would help to reduce the risk of a cellphone posing a distraction. Teenagers use cellphones for everything from phone calls and texting to navigation and social media updates. Even if the bill does not pass, parents can help to keep kids safe by having a second rule that addresses phone use while driving.

These distractions can contribute to accidents. Ultimately, the driver is responsible for operating the vehicle safely. If an accident results from a distraction, the driver is likely liable.

The driver can be required to provide compensation to cover a victim's medical bills, lost wages and other expenses that result from the distracted driving accident. An attorney can help advocate for the victim's interests and better ensure the victim gets the compensation they are entitled.

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