“100 Deadliest Days” for teen drivers begin; texting linked to crashes

AAAteendrivers

What’s the biggest cause of vehicle crashes involving teen drivers? It’s distractions, finds an updated study released Wednesday by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

It’s pretty easy to guess what those distractions are. The top three are talking or attending to other passengers in the vehicle; talking, texting or operating a cell phone, and looking at something inside the vehicle.

Crashes for teen drivers increase significantly during the summer because teens are driving more.

Over the past five years, more than 5,000 people have been killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the “100 Deadliest Days,” the period starting at Memorial Day when teen crash deaths historically climb.

During the “100 Deadliest Days,” an average of 1,022 people died each year in crashes involving teen drivers. The average number of deaths from crashes involving teen drivers ages 16-19 increased by 16 percent per day compared to the other days of the year.

This year’s follow-up report from the foundation is part of the most comprehensive eight-year research project ever conducted into crash videos of teen drivers.

To read the full report, go to aaafoundation.org/using-naturalistic-driving-data-examine-teen-driver-behaviors-present-motor-vehicle-crashes-2007

In collaboration with researchers at the University of Iowa, the foundation analyzed the moments leading p to a crash in more than 2,200 videos capture from in-car dash cameras.

The latest report compared new crash videos with those captured from 2007-2012.

The report uncovered a disturbing trend, In the moments leading up to a crash, teens were more likely to be texting or looking down at the phone than talking on it.

Texting creates a crash risk 23 times worse than driving while not distracted, research by the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute found.

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