A nationwide analysis suggests that distractions – not alcohol – are contributing to a steady increase in nighttime fatal crashes for teenage drivers.
The trends are illustrated in a report produced by the Teens in the Driver Seat Center of the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI). The analysis that produced the report examined the effects of lighting conditions on crashes from 1999 to 2008 in all 50 U.S. states, along with the presence of alcohol as a factor in those crashes. The findings suggest something other than alcohol is pushing the nighttime fatal crash numbers up for teen drivers. The most likely reason, researchers say, is the use of cell phones.