Teens and Distracted Driving: A Danger You Just Cannot Ignore

Until now, things like changing clothes while driving, excessive drinking, and taking drugs were considered major reasons behind teen accidents, but according to recent research, distracted driving is one of the leading causes of road accidents involving teen drivers. According to a research done by AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, every 6 out of 10 teen accidents are caused by distracted driving says. According to the Federal Report released in 2013, the most recent statistics, a total of 963,000 drivers between the age of 16 and 19 had a car crash. Out of these, 2,865 ended up dying while 383,000 got injured.

Causes and Consequences of Distracted Driving

Due to an increase in the rate of teen driving accidents, a three-phase study was recently conducted in North Carolina where 50 families having teen drivers were studied using the video clips taken while the teens were driving. These video clips were later seen to check the teen behavior while driving. This study came up with shocking facts about distracted driving, its causes and consequences. Being a parent, you must understand how dangerous distracted driving is, not only for adults, but for teen drivers.

Electronic Devices a Major Cause of Distraction

The use of electronic devices while driving is a major cause of distraction. 7% of the total teens included in the study were recorded using cell phones, especially for reading and sending texts while driving, which distracted them from focusing on the road.

Girls More Prone to Getting Distracted While Driving

The amount of teenage girls using mobile phones while driving was double. Females were also seen applying makeup, moving their body to reach for any object etc. while driving.

Distracted Driving Depends on Various Factors

60% of teens tend to use mobile phones more when they are driving alone, and they avoid using electronic devices in the presence of their parents or any other adult. Loud conversation with friends was also a major cause of distraction while driving. 2.8% of teens were seen eating or drinking while driving, which is also a major cause of distraction. Peer passengers increased the chances of fatal incidents due to loud conversation.

Looking Away From Road Increases Chance of Car Crash

Research indicates that 15% of crashes take place when the teen driver turns his eyes away from road whether he see anything outside or inside the car.

Self-Grooming also a Culprit

Self-grooming while driving increases chances of crashes by up to 6%. It may involve changing clothes, applying makeup, combing hair etc.

All these statistics point out to just one thing; our kids need to learn a lot more than driving skills to become a responsible driver. It is something which cannot be learned overnight. Parents should act as a role model, as kids follow what their parents do. So, if you want your kid to drive defensively, then you should start doing the same from now onwards. It’s best to supervise the kid during his first few weeks of driving just to keep an eye on them and teach them things they are weak in, like road snacking, maintaining speed, etc.

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