A new report released by the American Automobile Association revealed that 58% of teen car accidents involved distracted driving. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reviewed about 1,700 crash videos to arrive at its startling results.
The most revealing aspect of the statistic is that it is four times greater than estimates based on police reports according to the Foundation.
The causes of “distracted driving,” however, went beyond just “texting and driving.” The AAA analysis blamed a half-dozen types of distraction that caused teen crashes. These included:
- interacting with other passengers – 15% of crashes
- cellphone use – 12% percent
- looking at something inside the car
- looking at something outside other than the road ahead
- singing or moving to music
- grooming and reaching for something
To arrive at the results, the Foundation used in-car system videos that many families installed in the vehicles of their teen drivers to keep track of their movements and driving habits. The systems captured video, audio and acceleration data when a young driver triggered the device by braking hard, taking a corner fast or sustaining a hard impact.
The video footage revealed that calling, texting or other mobile device use distracted teen drivers for an average of 4.1 seconds during the final six seconds before a crash impact. That’s 68% of critical reaction time just before an impact. According to the study, when teens caused a rear-ender accident, more than half the time there was no evidence of them braking or attempting to steer to avoid the collision.
It should come as no surprise that teenage drivers have the highest crash and auto insurance rates in the nation. Federal data showed that in 2013 about 963,000 drivers between the ages 16 to 19 were involved in car accidents. These car crashes caused over 380,000 injuries and 2,865 deaths.
Because auto insurance rates can be so high, teen drivers frequently don’t carry high limits of insurance coverage. For this reason, it’s imperative that you protect yourself and your family with the highest amounts of underinsured and uninsured coverage that you can afford.
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