In a recent study, the AAA Foundation announced that teen distracted driving could be more widespread than previously believed. According to the foundation, teen drivers were inattentive or engaged in some other non-driving related activity in 58% of all observed crashes. This is at least four times more than what was previously reported by National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.
In this study, researchers’ video recorded and analyzed the driver’s actions six seconds leading up to the moment of impact. In the videos, they found that:
- The most frequent potentially-distracting behaviors were conversing or otherwise interacting with passengers and cell phone use.
- Drivers operating or looking at cell phones looked away from the road excessively – in fact, the spent an average of 4.1 seconds out of final 6 seconds before the crash looking away.
- The driver exhibited no reaction at all before impact in over half of rear-end crashes involving cell phone use.
- Decision errors such as failing to yield right of way, running stop signs and driving too fast, were involved in 66% of crashes.
You can view a short compilation of distracted teens six seconds before a crash from this study here:
- Know the risk of distracted driving.
- Acknowledge that multitasking is just a bad idea. Even with advanced voice command features in new cars.
- If you are the driver:
- Turn off or put away your cell phone before starting your car. If your temptation is too much, put your phone in the trunk.
- You are the boss of the car; make sure to keep all passengers in line with the rules of the car.
- Consider downloading and installing a driving safety app on your phone.
- If you are the passenger:
- Speak up for your safety if the driver is driving recklessly.
- Remind the driver about the dangers of distracted driving.
- Be a good passenger and keep all other passengers in check; following the rules of the car.
- Offer to be the designated texter.