North Carolina law prohibits motorists under the age of 18 to use a cellphone, yet a study by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has found that since the enactment of this law, teen cellphone use in North Carolina has actually increased.
As part of its study, IIHS watched teen drivers as they drove away after school in the afternoon. Before the law went into effect, researchers noted that 11% of teen drivers were using their cellphones as they drove away from school. A few months after the law took effect, researchers found that almost 12% of the teen drivers were using their cellphones as they drove away from school.
Ironically, the study also found that teenagers were more likely to even be aware of the ban on cellphone use for drivers under the age of 18, than their parents. The study reported that 39% of parents knew of the ban, while 64% of their teens knew about it.
Not surprisingly, however, teenagers did not support the ban as strongly as their parents. Of the parents and teens that were aware of the ban on teen cellphone use while driving, 95% of parents supported the ban, while only 74% of teens supported it. Eighty-eight percent of the parents surveyed reported that they restricted their teenager’s cell phone use, but only 66% of teens admitted that their parents restricted their cellphone use.
Despite the ban on cellphone use for teens under the age of 18, almost half of the teens surveyed by IIHS admitted that they still used their cellphone while driving.
With enforcement nearly non-existent, teens are likely to continue to use their cellphones while driving. If you have been injured due to a driver who was distracted by cellphone use, you may be entitled to recover damages. Contact our North Carolina accident and injury lawyers today for more information.