Study Finds Troubling Facts About Distracted Teen Drivers
A new study shows that six out of every ten moderate to severe car accidents involving teen drivers were linked to distracted driving.
Whether talking on the phone, texting, or simply chatting with passengers, teen drivers are a higher risk of distraction and accidents than older drivers. According to AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, the distracted driving problem is more severe than past research revealed.
The president and CEO of the AAA Foundation, Peter Kissinger, said that, “The in-depth analysis provides indisputable evidence that teen drivers are distracted in a much greater percentage of crashes than we previously realized.”
In the study, researchers found the following distractions:
- Conversing with passengers linked to 15% of car crashes
- Cellphone usage linked to 12% of accidents
- Visual distractions in the vehicle caused 10% of all collisions
- Visual distractions outside of the car linked to 9% of crashes
- Singing or dancing to music in the car caused 8% of accidents
- Personal grooming / applying makeup linked to 6% of collisions
Passengers and Cellphones are the Most Common Distractions
As the study showed, passengers and cellphone-related activities are the two most prominent causes of car accidents among teens. While this is not surprising, the CEO of AAA, Bob Darbelnet described the results as “troubling.”
Young drivers have the highest crash rates in the country. Teens do not have the same experience to draw from behind the wheel, which can make it difficult for them to react to emergencies and atypical driving situations.
While distracted driving is dangerous for anyone, it poses a special risk for teens. Additionally, distracted driving is avoidable. In fact, the two most common forms of teen distraction (passengers and cellphones) are simple to eliminate but remain a serious concern on U.S. roadways.
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