Although, the “100 Deadliest Days” for drivers- the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day- is over, the distracted driving problem is not. With a new school year starting, more teens will on the road, whether it’s commuting back and forth to school or taking a driver’s education course.
AAA previously referred to the “100 Deadliest Days “as the “summer driving season” because more teen drivers are on the road during this time. Unfortunately, the increase in auto accident fatalities among teens during those three months have led AAA to adopt the new, more grim nickname, CBS News reported. The number of car crashes involving teen drivers is 16 percent higher than the rest of the year.
“Every day during the summer driving season, an average of 10 people die as a result of injuries from a crash involving a teen driver,” said Jurek Grabowski, Research Director for the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. “This new research shows that distraction continues to be one of the leading causes of crashes for teen drivers. By better understanding how teens are distracted on the road, we can better prevent deaths throughout the 100 Deadliest Days and the rest of the year.”
Sixty percent of car accidents involving teens are the result of distracted driving, according to a recent AAA study. CBS News reported that the organization recommends a complete ban on wireless devices for drivers under the age of 18, which is currently in effect in 30 states. However, recent studies suggest that cell phone use is not the major cause of distracted driving accidents involving teen drivers.
AAA Foundation analyzed data from more than 2,200 crash videos between 2007 and 2012 and found cell phone use as the second leading cause of distracted driving accidents among teens.
Data from more than 2,200 crash videos analyzed by AAA foundation between 2007 and 2012 found that distracted driving accidents involving cell phone use-including texting-accounted for 12% of car crashes involving teens. The number one distraction for teenage drivers was other passengers, accounting for 15% of all distracted driving accidents involving teens.
Jennifer Ryan of AAA told CBS “What we know about teens is that when they add a passenger, they’re more likely to be distracted, they’re more likely to engage in risky behavior,”
The third leading distraction among teen drivers involved attending to or looking at something inside the vehicle.
The top in-vehicle distractions, as listed by Safecar.gov include: grooming, adjusting the radio/cd player, adjusting vehicle controls (heating/air conditioning, steering wheel, mirrors, seat position, and dash light brightness), reading, smoking, reaching for objects.
Cell phones, passengers and other distractions inside the car are still present, even though the deadliest days have passed. A new school year has begun with a new generation of young drivers preparing to take the wheel. It is important that children be educated about the dangers of distracted driving before they have a chance to develop dangerous habits. Pennsylvania lawyer Joel Feldman established End Distracted Driving (EndDD.org) to educate students about the dangers of distracted driving, following the death of his daughter who was killed by a distracted driver. Since 2012, more than 300,000 teens and adults throughout the United States and Canada have experienced EndDD presentations. To learn more about preventing distracted driving, or to request a free presentation, visit www.EndDD.org.