Teenagers and distracted driving

Distracted driving causes individuals of all ages to get into accidents. However, the risk is highest for teenage drivers, as they lack the experience behind the wheel.

Teenagers are the causes and victims of more crashes than any other age group. There are various strategies that states and parents can take to reduce accident risk among teen drivers.

Teenage driving stats and facts

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, an average of seven teenagers die, and hundreds receive injuries, on a daily basis due to car accidents. Although all teens are at risk, the highest risk factors for crashes include driving with other teens in the car, male drivers and those who recently received their licenses.

Inexperience and distracted driving are main factors in accidents. In fact, almost 40% of teens admit to using their phones while driving. Along with phone use, other distractions that can lead to crashes include talking with friends in the car, adjusting the radio, eating and putting on makeup.

Crash risk reduction strategies

Because inexperience contributes to increased distracted driving, all states have some type of graduated driver licensing system in place. This entails restricting driving behaviors at first and adding more responsibilities as the driver gains more experience behind the wheel. Studies show that these programs may reduce crash risk up to 41%.

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discusses that parents can also play a big role in reducing their teenage driver’s risk on the road. One way for parents to do this is to model good behavior by refraining from distracting behavior when they drive. They can also discuss the dangers of distracted driving, alcohol use and other risk factors and lay out consequences for driving distracted.


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