A new report from the Automobile Association of America, or AAA, indicates distracted driving plays a greater role in teen driving accidents than officials previously suspected.
CBS News reports the study, released Wednesday, analyzed 1,700 teen car accidents in which the driver and road conditions were caught on video with a dash-mounted camera. Along with its report, the organization released selected footage (shown below) from some of those dash camera videos.
The study found that distraction was a contributing factor in 58 percent of all moderate to severe teen accidents studied. That’s more than four times the federal government’s previous estimate of 14 percent.
Distracted driving means the teens were doing something else in the moments before an accident that could have been prevented, said president of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, Peter Kissinger.
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"They took no evasive action," Kissinger told CBS. "They didn't brake. They didn't steer.”
AAA said it is now urging states to pass tougher laws for teenage drivers in order clamp down on cellphone use while driving and even limiting the number of passengers in cars.
“Researchers found that drivers manipulating their cell phone (includes calling, texting or other uses), had their eyes off the road for an average of 4.1 out of the final six seconds leading up to a crash,” the report reads according to BoingBoing “The researchers also measured reaction times in rear-end crashes and found that teen drivers using a cell phone failed to react more than half of the time before the impact, meaning they crashed without braking or steering.”
The report showed that cellphones were a factor in 12 percent of the crashes recorded. Interacting with other passengers was a factor in 15 percent of the accidents.
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Other factors included looking at something in the vehicle, looking at something outside the vehicle, singing or moving to music, grooming and reaching for an object. Looking at something inside the vehicle was a factor in 10 percent of the accidents. The report logged all the other factors at less than 10 percent in the accidents that were analyzed.
Photo Credit: BoingBoing, Screenshot via YouTube