A new distracted driving study was just released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety that reveals disturbing new statistics about why teens get into vehicle accidents. According to the new research, 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes can be linked to a driving distraction. This new number is almost four times higher than estimates based on police reports and much higher than original NHTSA estimates.
These new findings are based upon new research where the six seconds leading up to a crash were analyzed as captured by in-vehicle event recorders. The study involved almost 1,700 videos of teen drivers and the results indicate that a distraction was involved in 58 percent of the crashes. Researchers also broke that number down to show in 89 percent of road-departure crashes a distraction was to blame along with in 76 percent of rear-end crashes. Previous estimate released by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration only showed a link to distraction 14 percent of the time.
“Access to crash videos has allowed us to better understand the moments leading up to a vehicle impact in a way that was previously impossible. The in-depth analysis provides indisputable evidence that teen drivers are distracted in a much greater percentage of crashes than we previously realized,” Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
So, besides cell phone usage, what is distracting teens from driving in a safe manner. According to the same study, leading distractions that cause crashes include:
- Passenger interaction in 15 percent of crashes
- Grooming in 6 percent of the crashes
- Reaching for an object in 6 percent of the crashes
- Singing/moving to music in 8 percent of the crashes
Whether you take these findings seriously or not, the bottom line is that teens are not able to assess risk association with distracted driving and need to be witness to safe driving habits at home. Keep your teen accountable by setting a good example and being a constant parental figure in their lives.
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