The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety used to refer to June through early September as the summer driving season. More teenage drivers in North Carolina and nationwide combined with distracted driving has compelled the organization to now designate the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day as the “100 deadliest days.” One of the major causes of this designation is distracted driving such as talking or texting.
More teenagers are driving during the summer compared to the rest of the year. The number of fatalities among these drivers climbed to an average of 10 each day over the summer. This is a 16 percent increase from the rest of the year.
AAA, in collaboration with the university of Iowa, researched teenage drivers during the last eight years by reviewing over 2,200 moderate- to-severe crashes and studying their behavior with dashboard cameras. Behavior among these drivers revealed troubling trends.
Teenagers were more likely to use their phones by texting or accessing social media. This is particularly dangerous because drivers take their eyes from the road and look down while talking and texting.
The study also revealed that a distracted driver caused 60 percent of crashes involving teenage drivers. However, cell phones are not the worst distraction.
Interacting with other passengers is the major distraction for teenagers by causing 15 percent of teen driver crashes. Experts believe that other teenage passengers encourage risky behavior and cause distractions. Talking on a cell phone or texting caused 12 percent of accidents. AAA argues for a total ban on wireless devices for motorist under 18-years-old. Currently, 30 states have this ban.
Victims of a car accident caused by a driver of any age may be entitled to compensation for medical expenses and other losses. A lawyer can help obtain evidence of the cause of an accident and represent victims in court.
Source: CBS News, “Top distraction for teen drivers in crashes may surprise may surprise you,” June 1, 2017