New Study Shows Most Car Accidents Involving Teen Drivers Caused by Distracted Driving
A new study conducted by AAA shows that 6 out of 10 car accidents caused by teen drivers can be directly linked to distracted driving.
The automobile safety group looked at 1,700 videos of car accidents caused by teenage drivers, and found that the main cause of the accident was usually some type of distracted driving – including texting and driving, talking on the phone, or simply talking to passengers and not paying attention to the road.
“Access to crash videos has allowed us to better understand the moments leading up to a vehicle impact in a way that was previously impossible,” said Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the AAA Foundation, a driving research and education group established in 1947 by AAA, the service organization for motorists. “The in-depth analysis provides indisputable evidence that teen drivers are distracted in a much greater percentage of crashes than we previously realized.”
Analysis of the video showed that distracted driving was the cause of the car accident in 58% of the crashes – including 89% of those crashes running off the road, or 76% of accidents involving rear-end collisions. In contrast, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has estimated that 14% of car accidents involving teenager drivers are caused by distracted driving – much lower than AAA’s findings.
Although many safety experts have decried using mobile phones to talk, text, or check social media while driving, the number one cause of teen driving accidents – 15% of the crashes – involved the driver talking to the passenger. The next leading cause of 12% of the crashes was talking or texting and driving. Other causes of crashes included the driver searching for something in the vehicle (10%); looking at something outside the vehicle besides the road (9%); singing or dancing to music (8%); and personal grooming (6%).
The videos also showed that drivers using cell phones for any reason had their eyes off the road for 4.1 of the final 6 seconds leading up to the car accident.
“AAA recommends that state laws prohibit cell phone use by teen drivers and restrict passengers to one non-family member for the first six months of driving,” the group urged.
“It is troubling that passengers and cellphones were the most common forms of distraction given that these factors can increase crash risks for teen drivers,” AAA CEO Bob Darbelnet said in a prepared statement. “The situation is made worse by the fact that young drivers have spent less time behind the wheel and cannot draw upon their previous experience to manage unsafe conditions.”
In 2013, 963,000 teenage drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 were the cause of car accidents in police reported crashes.
The Strom Law Firm Defends Victims of Distracted Driving
If you have been involved in a car accident caused by a distracted driver, you may suffer serious personal injury, mounting insurance bills, and lost wages from time away from work to recover from the accident. However, you do not have to suffer alone. The South Carolina personal injury attorneys at the Strom Law Firm understand that distracted driving is dangerous, and can help you find compensation for your physical and emotional suffering. We offer free case evaluations to discuss your distracted driving accident to see if you qualify for civil litigation. Contact us today. 803.252.4800