Many people may not realize the additional dangers the summer months pose for Texas drivers and their passengers. One of the reasons is that teen drivers are on the road more, and the summer months are considered the “100 deadliest days,” when teenagers cause the most injuries and deaths in auto wrecks. A major cause of these tragedies is distracted driving by teens.
What Are the Top Ways Teens Engage in Distracted Driving?
In 2016, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety (AAA) released the results of an eight-year research project done in collaboration with the University of Iowa. The researchers analyzed the moments leading up to a wreck in videos from in-car dash cameras of 2,200 crashes from 2007 through 2012. During the 100 deadliest days:
- Sixty percent of crashes involved teens engaged in distracted driving.
- Annually, an average of 1,022 motorists died in crashes caused by teen drivers.
- The number of fatalities in crashes involving teenagers aged 16 to 19 increased 16 percent during the 100 deadliest days, compared to other times of the year.
Additionally, a large percentage of the victims in distracted driving collisions are passengers or other motorists, not just the teen driver.
The researchers also studied why young drivers caused so many deadly crashes and found an alarming trend of increased texting and social media use on cellphones, rather than talking. This means young drivers are all too often looking down at their phones instead of up at the road.
The top three distractions for teens were…
- Talking to or attending to passengers in vehicles.
- Talking on or operating a cellphone or texting.
- Attending to or looking at something inside their vehicle.
How to Prevent Your Teen From Causing a Distracted Driving Crash
No parent wants his or her child to be the victim of a teenage driving crash or the cause of one. Here are some ways to prevent your teen driver from causing a dangerous wreck:
- Have conversations with your teen early and often about the dangers of distracted driving—especially talking on a cellphone and texting.
- Outline a written agreement with your teen driver not to engage in distracted driving, and have him or her sign it.
- Set a good example by avoiding distractions when you’re driving and always pull over before using your cellphone to call or text.