Distracted Driving a Factor in 60% of Teen Crashes

A recent study conducted by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety concluded that the distracted driving among teens is a much more serious problem than previously thought. Researchers in the study analyzed the six seconds leading up to a crash in approximately 1,700 videos of teen drivers taken from in-vehicle event recorders.  The results are alarming to say the list. The study concluded that distraction was a factor in 58% of all crashes studied, including 89% of road departure crashes and 76% of rear-end crashes. According to previous National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) estimate, distraction was thought to be a factor in only 14% of all teen driver crashes.

According to the study, the most common forms of distraction included:

·         Interacting with one or more passengers: 15%

·         Cell phone use: 12%

·         Looking at something in the vehicle: 10%

·         Looking at something outside the vehicle: 9%

·         Singing/moving to music: 8%

·         Grooming: 6%

·         Reaching for an object: 6%

So what can parents do to help their teens?  AAA recommends that parents teach teens about the dangers of cell phone use and restrict passengers during the learning-to-drive process.

The full research report is available on AAA Foundation’s website (www.aaafoundation.org).