Distracted Driving Huge National Problem


Interacting With Other Passengers Top Cause

AAA reports that a recent study that reviewed in-vehicle video footage before a crash found distracted driving is a bigger problem among teens than previously thought. In 2013, the last year for which data is available, almost one million crashes involving teens were reported to police. Of those, nearly 400,000 resulted in injuries including almost 3,000 deaths. Distracted driving was the cause of the crash nearly 60 percent of the time, including almost 90 percent of instances where a vehicle left the road and just above 75 percent of rear-end wrecks. Of the wrecks involving distraction, 15 percent were attributed to the driver interacting with other passengers.

Cell Phone Usage Number Two

Calling or texting was the second biggest reason, coming in at 12 percent of all distracted crashes. Video shows that teen drivers took their eyes off the road for an average of more than four seconds to use their phone just prior to a crash. What’s perhaps more troubling is that teens who crashed due to phone usage failed to react at all, meaning no braking or evasive steering prior to the wreck. Other things causing distractions that led to an accident include looking at something either inside or outside the vehicle, singing and moving to music, grooming, or reaching for an object.

AAA Recommends Tougher Laws

According to Beth Mosher, a spokesperson for AAA Chicago, tougher laws are needed to keep teens safer. She said AAA is pushing for laws that eliminate cell phone usage and keeps passengers to just one non-family member for a driver’s first six months on the road. Thirty-three states already prohibit teen cell phone use and another 18 limit the amount of passengers per teen driver.

Practice Driving With Your Teen

The day your teen gets his or her license is a reason to celebrate, but it’s also a time for a serious conversation. A car is many things, but it’s also a killing machine. Once your teen is behind the wheel it’s important for them to understand the power that is in their hands. Take a drive once a week with your teen and practice what to do in certain situations. Have them count to three and look both ways before taking off from a stop light. Make sure they check their mirrors before changing lanes, use their turn signals and above all else, put the phone away while driving. Their life and the lives of others just may depend on keeping your child focused behind the wheel. Also make sure that your vehicle has a regular safety inspection. All the Chapman Arizona dealerships are ready and willing to provide an inspection with your regular oil change, ensuring your car is as safe as possible on the road.

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