At this point multiple studies have been done on the frequency and devastating effects of distracted driving, particularly texting while driving. While people of all ages have put lives at risk by using phones while behind the wheel, an overarching discovery has been the disproportionate number of young drivers who were distracted when they crashed.

The findings underscore the need for ongoing education about the life-altering consequences of driving distractedly.

A new study suggests that the problem of distracted driving among teens is far worse than previously believed.

Research has already revealed these unsettling statistics:

  • 10 percent of teen drivers involved in fatal accidents were distracted at the time.
  • Of all distracted drivers involved in fatal crashes, 27 percent were in their 20s.
  • 20 percent of teen drivers admit to having multi-text conversations while driving.
  • 25 percent of teenagers said they respond to a text at least once every time they get behind the wheel.

Now an analysis by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has shown that distracted driving factored into nearly 60 percent of moderate-to-severe teenager-involved collisions — a frequency much higher than previously understood.

This new study suggests that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has significantly underestimated — at 14 percent — how frequently distraction factors into teen driver crashes.

Cell phone use is not the only activity distracting teen drivers.

In fact, the AAA study showed that 15 percent of teen driver accidents were due to the driver being distracted by one or more passengers. Cell phone use is believed to have caused 12 percent of the crashes analyzed in the study. Other forms of teen distraction were:

  • Looking at objects in or outside the vehicle
  • Singing or dancing to music
  • Grooming
  • Reaching for an object in the vehicle

Clearly, engaging in these risky behaviors is not worth the potential consequences. To learn more about the ramifications of distracted driving and how victims can be compensated, please see The Levine Law Firm’s overview of texting and driving.