WASHINGTON, D.C. – According to an online report published at newsroom.aaa.com, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety found that teen drivers are highly prone to distraction-related vehicle accidents. Thorough research into teen driving crashes revealed that distracted driving is more prevalent in this age group than previously thought.*

Videos of teenage driving crashes shows that distraction played a role in almost 60 percent (or nearly 6 in 10) vehicle accidents. This is a rate that is four times higher than estimates generated from police reports of accidents.

Researchers with AAA analyzed the seconds prior to vehicle accidents in almost 1,700 teen driving crash cases using footage captured by cameras inside the teens’ vehicles. They found that 58 percent of these crashes involved distractions. This included almost 90 percent of all teen run-off-the-road accidents and more than 75 percent of all teen rear-end crashes.

Prior to this study, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimated that distraction was a factor in less than 15 percent of all teenage vehicle accidents. The AAA study results, therefore, paint a darker picture of teenage distraction than experts previously saw.

“Access to crash videos has allowed us to better understand the moments leading up to a vehicle impact in a way that was previously impossible,” said Peter Kissinger, AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety President and CEO. “The in-depth analysis provides indisputable evidence that teen drivers are distracted in a much greater percentage of crashes than we previously realized.”

The researchers found that interaction with passengers in the vehicles and cell phone use accounted for 27 percent of the teen distracted driving crashes they analyzed.

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