New Study About Distracted Driving
Getting a driving license is a big deal to all teens. It spells freedom and independence! It can also spell danger if your teen is distracted while driving. Not surprisingly, teens have the highest car crash rate!
Researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that distracted driving by teens that resulted in car accidents is worse than originally thought. Researchers reviewed more than 1700 videos from in-vehicle-event-recorders that were placed inside the cars of teen drivers. They studied behaviors in the seconds prior to a crash. They found that distracted driving was responsible for 58 percent of collisions. It was previously believed to be a factor in 14 percent of accidents.
A car leaving the roadway is more likely to occur with cellphone use. This is because teens look away from the road for a longer period of time when using a cellphone, often for several seconds while looking at a pic, or texting.
“Researchers found that drivers manipulating their cell phone (includes calling, texting or other uses), had their eyes off the road for an average of 4.1 out of the final six seconds leading up to a crash. The researchers also measured reaction times in rear-end crashes and found that teen drivers using a cell phone failed to react more than half of the time before the impact, meaning they crashed without braking or steering.”
To be sure other behaviors were also found to be related to distracted driving are talking to other passengers in the car, singing and dancing to music, and personal grooming.
What Can Parents Do:
- Take a minute to watch this video
- Talk to your teen about this study and the consequences of texting and driving such as:
Injury to others, in the car their driving or in the other vehicle they collide with, or a pedestrian
Increase in insurance rates
Loss of ability to use vehicle
Legal Liability, Criminal Charges
- Let your teen know that if they are ever found to be texting and driving, that they will lose their car privileges and phone privileges.
- Let your teen know that if they are responsible for an accident because of texting and driving, that they will be paying for all of the incurred expenses.
- Check out the Arrive Alive Program, a simulation program that let’s teens see what can happen when they are texting and driving.