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Touring emergency rooms, morgue may improve teen driving

Across California and the United States, motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of accidental death in teenagers. A recent study found that seeing the extreme consequences of vehicular accidents may improve teenage driving statistics. The study, which was done by researchers at Baylor University, found that teenage drivers who entered into a supplemental drivers' education program had an increased awareness of the consequences of risky driving practices.

The supplemental drivers' education program took the teenage drivers on a tour that included intensive care units, the emergency room and the morgue. The program also included videos, lectures and discussions and lasted approximately six hours. Though teenage drivers were found to have an increased awareness of how to avoid dangerous driving scenarios immediately following the visits, a follow-up study was inconclusive if the supplemental education made a difference when the teenage drivers were behind the wheel two months after the program concluded.

The supplemental education program is known as the Reality Education for Drivers program. Youth in the program must be referred by a parent, community group, school administrator or the court. In order to decrease the number of motor vehicle accident fatalities in teenage drivers, more and more supplemental risk reduction programs, which include realistic experiences, are being offered by private agencies, insurance companies, hospitals and government agencies across the country.

Motor vehicle accidents can bring devastating consequences, including serious injury, costly medical expenses, pain and suffering and wrongful death. When an accident is caused by negligence, the responsible party may be liable for damages to the injured parties. A lawyer might be able to help an injured individual or a family member receive compensation for the consequences caused by negligent driving. In this case, a lawyer may be able to show that a teenage driver was driving while texting by presenting phone records, helping to prove negligence and liability.

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