New AAA Study Highlights the Epidemic of Distracted Driving Among Teens
Teenagers have grown up with electronic devices. It’s, therefore, not surprising that more teens are being injured and killed in distracted driving linked crashes than any other age group.
A recent comprehensive survey by AAA, which is the most comprehensive research ever conducted into crash videos of teen drivers, pointed to significant evidence that distracted driving is likely much more serious a problem than previously known, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. As a father of two teens, this trend worries me.
“The unprecedented video analysis finds that distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes, which is four times as many as official estimates based on police reports,” stated AAA in a press release.
Teen drivers are more likely to be involved in an accident due to their inexperience, even before the influence of cellphones is factored into the equation. A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found teen drivers are most likely to be involved in a crash in their first six months of driving.
In the AAA Foundation Report, researchers analyzed the six seconds leading up to a crash in nearly 1,700 videos of teen drivers taken from in-vehicle event recorders. The results showed that distraction was a factor in 58 percent of all crashes studied, including 89 percent of road-departure crashes and 76 percent of rear-end crashes. NHTSA previously has estimated that distraction was a factor in only 14 percent of all teen driver crashes.
“It really proved this issue, teenage distracting driving, is a bigger issue than we ever thought. It cited motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer for teens in the United States,” stated Chelsea Pompeani, Director of Public Affairs.
Based on the videos, AAA concluded that distraction is a factor in 58 percent of moderate to severe teenage accidents.
“We are really hoping this opens teenagers eyes and not only teenagers but their parents too. This really starts at home, parents need to keep talking to their children about the dangers while texting and driving,” added Pompeani.
The study involved teens being filmed for six months. As well as the use of electronic devices, drivers were distracted by other teens and horseplay.
“Distracting Conditions involving passengers’ loud conversations were evident in 12.2 percent of driving clips when passengers were present. Horseplay was less common, at 6.3 percent of clips,” stated the study. These factors were most prevalent after 9 p.m. on weekends.
Here are some tips to help stop your teen being distracted. April is Distracted Driving Awareness Month when a campaign is under way to prevent drivers using electronic devices or being distracted in other ways.
1 – Get your teen to make a pledge to keep electronic devices turned off while driving
2 – Try to call and never text a teen when you know he or she is driving
3 – impose a curfew so as your teen is not out at the most dangerous times
4 – Set a good example by never texting and minimizing cell phone use in front of your kids
5 – Aim to educate your children about the dangers of distracted driving.
If you have been injured by a distracted driving or lost a loved one due to a driver who was texting or distracted in any other way, you may have grounds to file a claim against that driver’s insurance policy. Call Cooper Hurley Injury Lawyers at 757.455.0077 or see CooperHurley.com.