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Nice Weather Means New (Distracted) Teen Drivers: Study Shows Sobering Teen Driving Stats

Distracted Teen Driver

The sun in shining, the school year is winding down and teens all over the country are graduating from Driver's Ed. Their plans? To spend the summer on the road! Texting their friends while sliding into your lane!

That characterization isn't entirely fair - plenty of adults slide into your lane while texting as well. But a recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that the statistics for accidents caused by distracted teen driving were much higher than previously estimated.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration in the U.S. previously estimated that 14% of teen driver accidents happened to due distractions, whereas the AAA's study found that 58% of crashes involving teen drivers were caused by distracted driving.

According to the study:

The most common forms of distraction leading up to a crash by a teen driver included:

  • Interacting with one or more passengers: 15 percent of crashes
  • Cell phone use: 12 percent of crashes
  • Looking at something in the vehicle: 10 percent of crashes
  • Looking at something outside the vehicle: 9 percent of crashes
  • Singing/moving to music: 8 percent of crashes
  • Grooming: 6 percent of crashes
  • Reaching for an object: 6 percent of crashes

Check out this short video of near misses caused by distracted driving. The camera captures a view of the road and of the driver simultaneously for the eight seconds leading up to an incident and the four seconds afterwards. Pretty sobering stuff.

You can get the full report from AAA here.

With the weather heating up and more young drivers learning the rules of the road, now is a good time to have a chat with the teen drivers in your life about being responsible in the car. If you're looking for inspiration on how to set ground rules for teen drivers, check out the AAA parent-teen driving agreement. Be sure to show them the video above! And be sure to set a good example yourself when you're driving.

Do you have a young driver at home? How do you talk to them about distracted driving? Let us know in the comments!

- Rose R.


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