Distracted driving a factor in most teen crashes: study

Washington – Teen driver crashes may be caused by distracted driving more often than you think.

In a study released March 25, researchers from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analyzed almost 1,700 crash videos provided by in-vehicle recording systems. They concluded that distractions were involved in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe crashes involving teens – a rate 4 times higher than police reports suggest.

Researchers said the most common types of distractions that preceded crashes were:

  • Interacting with passenger(s): 15 percent
  • Cell phone: 12 percent
  • Focusing on something inside the vehicle: 10 percent
  • Focusing on something outside the vehicle: 9 percent
  • Singing or moving to music: 8 percent
  • Grooming: 6 percent
  • Reaching for something: 6 percent

To reduce distracted driving among teens, AAA recommends allowing no more than one non-family passenger younger than 20 during the driver’s first six months with a license.