Startling new research published by the AAA Foundation outlines the dangers of distracted driving and teen drivers. In partnership with the University of Iowa, a study was conducted over the last eight years. The study used dashboard cameras and facts from over 2,220 moderate to severe collisions. The result, an alarming change in distracted behavior while driving.
“They’re more likely to interact with their phones via texting or social media, which is particularly scary because they’re actually then looking down, taking their eyes off the road,” said Jennifer Ryan of AAA.
The study reports that 60% of teenage collisions are cause by distracting driving. However, cell phone use was not the number one cause of collisions. Top distraction, other passengers at 15% of collision and cell phones at 12%.
“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,” Ryan said.
AAA has renamed the “summer driving season” between Memorial Day and Labor Day to the “100 Deadliest Days” for young drivers and recommends a banning all wireless devices for drivers under 18. 30 state have adopted this law.
It is important to educate teens about the dangers of driving while also encouraging them to practice good driving techniques. Driving creates a whole new world of freedom for teenagers that can be taken for granted. Make sure your child understands that driving is a privilege not a right. Their safety and others on the roadway need this awareness.
One very effective measure as a parent is to develop a “driving contract.” This contract outlines your expectations for you child when they are behind the wheel. If the contact is broken, a set of reasonable and measured consequences are set out in writing and agreed upon in advance by the parents and child.
Download a Teen-Parent Driving Contract template.