3/25/2015

Distractions Cause of Most Teen Car Crashes

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

In-car videos of nearly 1,700 teenage drivers who crashed their cars show distraction was a factor in three out of five wrecks, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

Share

Facebook Share Icon LinkedIn Share Icon Twitter Share Icon Share by EMail icon Print Icon

In-car videos of nearly 1,700 teenage drivers who crashed their cars show distraction was a factor in three out of five wrecks, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

That ratio is four times the rate previously estimated by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration for teens, the most accident-prone age group on the road.

AAA researchers say distraction factors into 89% of road-departure crashes and 76% of rear-end crashes involving teen drivers. Conclusions are based on a study of videos made during the six seconds before a crash. The researchers did not evaluate videos of older drivers.

Results for teen drivers say the top sources of distraction are looking away from the road ahead (19% of crashes), passenger interactions (15%), cellphone use (12%) and singing or moving to music (8%).

Researchers say drivers using their cellphones took their eyes off the road for an average 4.1 seconds out of the final six seconds ahead of their crash. AAA favors graduated driver licensing laws, which it says can help new drivers gain experience under relatively safe conditions.