DRIVEN TO DISTRACTION: Dashcam footage reveals that distracted driving is the cause of many crashes with teenage drivers behind the wheel. Image: Shutterstock ~ Shutterstock
WASHINGTON, DC – The Automobile Association of America (AAA) has analysed nearly 1700 videos of teenaged drivers captured by dashcams. The results: Shocking!
Distracted driving proved to be the cause of nearly 60% of crashes - a statistic the AAA claims is "four times as many as official estimates based on police reports".
Researchers found that teens using a cellphone (calling, texting, selfies) had their eyes off the road for an average of 4.1 seconds out of the final six leading to a crash.
FAILED TO REACT
The AAA also measured reaction times in rear-end crashes and found that teens using a cellphone "more than half the time failed to react before the impact”. Meaning: they crashed without braking or steering.
The AAA listed the most common forms of distraction leading up to a crash by a teen:
• Interacting with one or more passengers - 15% of crashes
• Using a cellphone - 12%
• Looking at something in the vehicle - 10%
• Looking at something outside the vehicle - 9%
• Singing/moving to music - 8%
• Grooming - 6%
• Reaching for an object - 6%
According to the AAA: “The results showed that distraction was a factor in 58% of all crashes studied, including 89% of road-departure crashes and 76% of rear-end crashes. The US National Highway Traffic Safety Administration had previously estimated that distraction was a factor in only 14% of teen-driver crashes.”
AAA CEO Bob Darbelnet said: “It's troubling that passengers and cellphones were the most common forms of distraction, given that these factors can increase crash risk for teen drivers. The situation is made worse by the fact that young drivers have spent less time behind the wheel and cannot draw upon their previous experience to manage unsafe conditions.”
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A shocking video for any parent: Click on the gif below to view the clip