Study: Teens three times more likely to get into accidents when using a phone while driving

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It is National Distracted Driving Awareness month. 

Distracted driving is a big concern for parents of any teen driver and the numbers show — rightly so. 

Teenagers are often glued to their cell phones, and this doesn’t necessarily stop once they get behind the wheel.  

A recent study showed that teens are three times more likely to get into a car accident when using their cell phone.

Related: Waterbury police begin crackdown on distracted drivers

Even worse, teens were seven times more likely to get into a car accident just by reaching for or handling something behind the wheel.

Researchers suggest that it is a combination of both taking their eyes off the road as well as being mentally distracted from the task of driving that causes the significant increase in crashes.

The study monitored teens for over four years using video and car surveillance technology. 

They found that other distractions, like singing and eating, were still risky, but not nearly as likely to lead to crashes.

So next time you talk to your teen about safe driving, remind them that it’s not just about putting their phone away, it’s about keeping their hands on the wheel and their eyes on the road.

Related: Month-long ‘U drive, U text, U pay’ campaign kicks off Tuesday

This is a reminder: there’s a statewide crackdown on distracted driving this April.

State and local enforcement agencies are enforcing distracted driving laws.

Since 2015, nearly 30,000 crashes in Connecticut linked to a distraction, more than 40 — fatal.

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