Friday, March 27, 2015

Crash after crash, AAA video shows dangers of distracted driving

A new study is exposing a disturbing trend among teen drivers. AAA reports distraction was a factor in nearly six of 10 moderate or severe accidents involving teenagers.

And car crashes are the leading cause of death for American teens.

You might guess cell phones are the biggest distraction for young drivers, but guess again. Simply chatting with other people in the car was the most common distraction leading to a crash for teen drivers, CBS Chicago reports.

Researchers from the AAA Motor Club examined nearly 6,900 videos from families who had cameras mounted both on their teen drivers, and on the front windshield, as part of an education program.

From talking with other passengers, to texting on their phones, to getting lost in their music, the distraction rate for teens was four times the rate in previous estimates.

In 15 percent of the crashes, the driver was simply interacting with one or more passengers. Cell phoneuse, from talking to texting, was to blame in 12 percent of the incidents. Just fiddling around in the car - looking at something from the radio to a book - was to blame 10 percent of the time. Even just singing in the car led to accidents 6 percent of the time.

Although cell phones were not the most frequent distraction, researchers found drivers using phones had their eyes off the road for an average of 4.1 of the 6 seconds just before a crash.