Sharing the Montana roadway with teenagers is undeniably dangerous, both because teens are often prone to distraction and because they inherently lack driving experience. A teen driver can become even more of a highway hazard, however, if he or she is also actively texting behind the wheel, which is something teens across the nation continue to do at alarming rates. At the Law Firm of Edmiston & Colton, we recognize that teens who text and drive endanger not only themselves, but everyone else on the road, and we have helped many victims of teen-driver-involved car wrecks pursue appropriate recourse in their aftermath.
According to Reuters, one in three of today’s teenage drivers acknowledge that they text and drive, and safety advocates believe this number may be even higher in Montana and other states where teens can get driver’s licenses before age 16. In a survey involving more than 101,000 American teenage drivers, nearly 40 percent reported that they had texted behind the wheel, despite the fact that the vast majority of the teens surveyed came from states that banned the behavior for drivers under 21.
The survey also indicated that the earlier a teen begins driving, the earlier he or she will likely begin texting and driving. Across Montana and the other four states that allow teenagers to get licenses before age 16, one in six teen drivers admitted to texting behind the wheel before they even had a permit. More than one in five 14 and 15-year-old teens in these states, meanwhile, acknowledged that they had begun driving on state roads before they ever received a learner’s permit.
Teens who text and drive present a threat to everyone they encounter, as texting involves all three forms of driver distraction. You can find out more about car crashes on our webpage.