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Majority of Teenager Accidents Caused by Distractions

AAA just released results from a study which shows more than half of all crashes involving teen drivers are caused by distractions. While most people know that teenage driving crashes are often caused by things like texting or talking on the phone, these results show the phenomenon is much worse than previously thought.

The AAA study analyzed close to 1,700 videos of teen drivers in moments right before accidents. Of those nearly 1,700 instances, 58% of those crashes were caused by distractions. These new statistics are significantly higher than all previous studies ever showed. A National Highway Traffic Safety Administration study previously showed only 14% of all teenager-involved accidents were caused by distractions. The new evidence discovered by the AAA study shows that distractions are a major problem for teenage drivers.

The most common types of accidents caused by distractions are “road departure crashes” and “rear-end crashes.”The distraction that caused the most accidents was interacting with passengers in the car (15%). Next leading distraction is cell phone use, which includes talking on the phone and texting (12%). Video analysis showed that when teens were using their cell phones while driving, they were distracted for about “4.1 seconds in the final 6 seconds before impact.”Also, in these types of accidents teens failed to brake or steer away from the collision. Some other top distractions that cause accidents are looking for something in the car and singing or dancing to music.

Teenagers have the highest crash and auto insurance rates in the country because their age group is involved in countless car accidents. In 2013, almost 1 million drivers aged 16-19 were in car accidents. More must be done to combat this epidemic.AAA officials recommend that states pass laws prohibiting cell phone use by teen drivers and “restrict passengers to one non-family member for the first 6 months of driving.”Maryland and Virginia already have “graduated driver’s license programs” with restrictions on cell phone use and passengers allowed in the car for teens while driving.

If you or someone you love has been injured in a teenager-caused car, truck, or bus accident or has died as a result of their injury suffered in a Virginia crash and would like more information, please call us at (855) 954-4141 for a free case evaluation or visit us online.