According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes happen because of certain distractions such as using a phone, lack of coordination and poor judgement.
Before we go any further, we would like to rant a little bit about the last crash from the video below, where the girl is looking down at her phone right before the crash and then right after the crash as if texting or reading a message was so important at that moment.
Sometimes we just have to call things for what they are and cell phones or any other outside distraction isn’t the real cause for any of these accidents. People are the cause. The way they’re wired to function, the way they were taught to drive, the way the can or can’t focus at specific times.
The whole world needs a better system for handing out driving licenses, because that’s heavy machinery you’re operating there which can cause you to hurt yourself or others.
Now back to the study. According to AAA, the most common forms of distraction leading up to crashes (for teens) include interacting with passengers (15%), cell phone use (12%), looking at something in the vehicle (10%), looking at something outside the vehicle (9%), singing/moving to music (8%), grooming (6%), reaching for an object (6%).
In the U.S, teens currently hold the highest crash rate where about 963,000 drivers ages 16-19 were involved in police-reported crashes in 2013 (the most recent year of available data). Unfortunately these crashes resulted in 383,00 injuries and 2,865 deaths.
Another issue raised by the footage is how poorly they react once they have to make a sudden course correction. They yank on the steering wheel and then gradually lose control – which is probably their instructors’ fault, or their tutor, whoever was the one teaching them how to drive.
The poor reaction times are troubling to say the least as researchers found that drivers manipulating their phones had their eyes off the road for an average of 4.1 out of the final 6 seconds leading up to a crash. In rear-end crashes, teen drivers using a cell phone failed to react more than half the time and crashed without any braking or steering input.
So remember those times right after you got your license in which your dad (probably) yelled at you in the car for making who knows what mistakes? We need more of those dads, because as much as we hate having somebody pointing out our mistakes, we eventually realize they’re right and bottom line, that’s how we learn to correct the things we’re doing wrong. In those stressful/annoying moments, we make mental notes.