Teen motorists are at a much higher risk of distracted driving than earlier studies have pointed out. The federal administration believes that as many as 14% of all teen driver accidents are linked to distracted driving. However, new studies have found that distraction is a much bigger factor in teen accidents than earlier believed.
The study analyzed 1,700 videos of teenage drivers, and found that the teens were often very distracted while driving. They also found that the distractions did not always involve the use of cell phones and other electronic devices.
Some of the findings of the study:
15% of the teen driver accidents involved teenagers interacting with their passengers
12% of accidents involved cell phone use at the wheel
10% of accidents involved teenagers who were looking at something inside the vehicle
9% of accidents involved external distractions
8% of accidents involved singing or dancing to music
6% of accidents each involved grooming and reaching for an object
Those statistics are very disturbing, because teenagers already have the highest accident rate of any category in the United States. In 2013 alone, approximately 963,000 drivers between the age of 16 and 19 were involved in accidents. These accidents resulted in 2865 fatalities, and more than 380,000 injuries.
Parents play a very important role in reducing the risk of distracted driving involving teenage motorists. Speak your teenage child about the dangers of using a cell phone while driving, and make sure that your teenager follows all laws related to passenger restrictions.