The time period between Memorial Day and Labor Day was formally known as the “summer driving season” by AAA. However, it is now being referred to as the “100 deadliest days” in part, because of the large number of teen drivers on the road. It is no surprise that there are more teen drivers on the road during summer, than at any other time of year. According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Report, the average number of deaths per day from crashes involving teen drivers ages 16-19 during this time-frame, is 16% higher than during the rest of the year. That is an average of ten deaths every day during the summer months.
The research confirmed that nearly 60% of teen crashes involved some sort of distraction behind the wheel. A distraction can be defined as anything that causes you to take your eyes off the road. Surprisingly, cell phones are not the number one culprit.
Top 3 Distractions for Teen Drivers Behind the Wheel:
1. Other passengers in the vehicle
2. Engaged in cell phone use (Ex. Talking/Texting/Social Media)
3. Looking at something outside the vehicle
Over the course of this 8 year study, researchers found that how teens use their cell phones behind the wheel has significantly changed throughout the years. More teen drivers are looking down and using their mobile devices than ever before. Distractions for young drivers are on the rise. Studies such as these help us to better understand what is causing these temptations to look down and causing teens to take their eyes off the road. Thereby, officials can properly educate and monitor against the dangers of distracted driving.
Thirty-eight states have already banned the use of wireless devices for new, inexperienced drivers commonly referred to as “novice drivers”. Meanwhile, texting behind the wheel has been banned in forty-six states.
These measures may deter novice drivers and more experienced drivers from using their cell phones while driving. However, in today’s technology-dependent society it looks to be an uphill battle. It is a responsibility for all drivers on the road to change these trends. But for now, consider taking extra precaution this summer; while the “100 deadliest days” are in full swing.
More information regarding the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Report, can be found HERE.