NHTSA estimated that about 15% of teen driver car crashes are caused by driver distraction.
AAA researchers pulled in-car event recorders and analyzed almost 1700 teen drivers in the six seconds before a crash.
Distraction was a factor in 58% of teen car crashes.
That’s a huge difference: four times more teen car crashes could be attributed to distracted driving, making it a much bigger problem than suspected.
The above video is absolutely terrifying. Half of the teen drivers who caused rear-end accidents didn’t reduce their speed, or attempt to avoid the collision.
And these were drivers who knew they were being filmed. What are teen drivers doing when there’s no one watching?
Teen drivers who have more than one passenger in the car were the most likely to cause a crash.
Another big culprit, of course, was cell phone use. Researchers found that teen drivers with a hand on their cell phone had their eyes off the road for an average of more than four out of the final six seconds leading up to a crash.
Car crashes are the leading cause of death for American teenagers. AAA is urging states to use the alarming results of this study to pass stricter laws on distracted driving and graduated driver licensing programs.