Texting & Driving Worse Than We Thought

According to a new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report released Wednesday, the dangers and outcomes of texting and driving (by teens) are worse than many have come to believe. The study found that 12% of all teen crashes are due to use of a cell phone while driving; however, coupled with interacting with passengers, looking for things, or looking away, distracted driving accounts for a whopping 58% of all teen motor vehicle accidents.

These figures, collected by a study of the last six seconds (before impact) of 1,691 crash videos, blow previous National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates out of the water. The NHSTA has the distraction factor at 14% in the cause of teen accidents. This new study has it at 6 in 10–much more serious than 1 in 10.

As of today, there is no national ban on texting while driving, but a number of states have passed laws banning texting or use of wireless phones. Some states have even passed laws requiring hands-free use of wireless phones while driving, including California. It will be interesting to see the effects of this law and whether other states will follow the hands-free trend.

Here is a scary statistic: 11 teens die every day as a result of texting while driving (Edgar Synder & Associates).  Even if texting was banned, teens would still text and drive; according to another AAA poll, 35% of teens who acknowledged the dangers of texting and driving said they would continue to do it anyway. While texting and driving will not soon be eliminated, it is of extreme importance that teens (AND DRIVERS OF ALL AGES) be made aware of the dangers.

Laws and fines may only go so far…here is a very controversial (and graphic) European video ad aimed at teens who text and drive: 

Sources:

https://www.edgarsnyder.com/car-accident/cause-of-accident/cell-phone/cell-phone-statistics.html

https://www.yahoo.com/autos/teen-distracted-driving-crashes-even-worse-than-115030971227.html

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