Top Driving Distractions for Teen Drivers
It’s no surprise that teen drivers are particularly vulnerable to distractions on the road, leading to many potentially deadly car accidents. A study by AAA reveals that in the summer months alone, over 1,000 people die in crashes involving teen drivers. In fact, vehicle accidents are the number one cause of death for teenagers in the United States. Here are the top driving distractions that lead to these types of auto accidents:
1. Talking to other passengers:
According to the AAA report, talking and attending to other passengers in the car is the leading cause of teen driving accidents. In fact, the risk of an accident increases as the number of unsupervised teenagers in the car increases.
2. Talking, texting and using a mobile phone:
Not surprisingly, talking and texting while driving is another major factor of teen driving accidents. Using a cell phone reduces the focus available for driving by around 37 percent and raises the risk of accidents four times.
3. Looking at or reaching for something inside the vehicle:
As with using a mobile phone, looking around for something inside the car reduces the amount of attention available for what’s going on in front of you. Teenagers are particularly susceptible to these distractions, which cause about 16 percent of teen driving accidents.
Because they lack experience with driving, teenagers are often less aware of the risks they face while on the road. They may overestimate their own skill, or underestimate the dangers of distracted driving. It is therefore imperative for parents to talk to their teens about vehicle safety. Discuss what distracted driving can look like and what are the inherent risks. Talk about how it’s easy to dismiss dangerous situations when you’re not giving them your full attention and how these kinds of distractions can cost lives.
Most importantly, make sure to set a good example yourself. Keep your cell phone out of the way when you’re driving and make a point of showing your teen how you deal with distractions in the car. By demonstrating safe and conscious driving, you can provide your teenager with a role model to emulate when they are behind the wheel.
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