Talking, Texting, Petting Distractions Cause 1,000 Teen Drivers’ Deaths Every Year

Distracted teen driving. Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Transportation InstituteDistracted teen driving. Photo Credit: Virginia Tech Transportation Institute

Researchers from the University of Iowa and the American Automobile Association’s (AAA) Foundation for Traffic Safety has released a report indicating that over 1,000 teen drivers die every year as a result of distracted driving, the US News Health reports.

The study shows that talking to passengers, texting or operating a cellphone, looking at something inside the car while driving, and romantic petting account for top driving distractions that cause teen drivers crashes.

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The report says teen drivers involve more in auto crashes during summer than other times, and this may be the reason why Memorial Day started with “100 deadliest days for teen drivers” according to WGNO, a ABC media company.

Jake Nelson, director of traffic safety advocacy and research at the AAA noted that this is the first time that parents have study data of reasons why teen drivers crash and die in auto accidents, even though they had always known that it is bad to get distracted during driving.

In arriving at the data, the researchers analyzed over 2,200 videos from in-car dashboard cameras and saw why auto accidents occurred minutes before they actually did.

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“The single most important step parents can take is to model safe driving behavior, and talk to their kids over and over and over again about the dangers of distracted driving,” Nelson said, emphasizing the fact that parents should do more to warn their teens against using the phone or chatting with passengers while handling a car on the road.

Dr. Barbara Pena, research director of the emergency department at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital in Miami, added that “Parents need to be on top of them, reminding them of the dangers of distracted driving and leading them by example.”

Visit the American Automobile Association to learn more about distracted driving and how to avoid it.

About the Author

Charles I. Omedo
Charles is a writer, editor, and publisher. He has a degree in Mass Communication and a PGD in Digital Communication.

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