Taking your eyes off the road is always a recipe for disaster, and with the growing number of distractions ensuring just that, it’s no surprise to find that more drivers are getting into mishaps, especially teens, and the percentage is rapidly climbing.

Over in the United States, comprehensive research conducted into crash videos of teen drivers has found significant evidence that distracted driving is becoming a serious problem, one larger than previously known.

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety says that video analysis of nearly 1,700 videos of teen drivers taken from in-vehicle event recorders finds that distraction was a factor in nearly six out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes – distraction was a factor in 58% of all crashes studied, a hike from an earlier estimate of it being a factor in only 14% of all teen driver crashes.


The study said that the most common forms of distraction leading up to a crash by a teen driver were interacting with one or more passengers (15%), mobile phone use (12%), looking at something in the vehicle (10%), looking at something outside the vehicle (9%), singing/moving to music (8%), grooming (6%) and reaching for an object (6%).

Researchers found that drivers manipulating their mobile phone (includes calling, texting or other uses) had their eyes off the road for an average of 4.1 out of the final six seconds leading up to a crash. The researchers also measured reaction times in rear-end crashes and found that teen drivers using a cell phone failed to react more than half of the time before the impact, meaning they crashed without braking or steering.

The AAA says that teens have the highest crash rate of any group in the US, with about 963,000 drivers aged 16-19 being involved in police-reported crashes in 2013 – these accidents resulted in 383,000 injuries and 2,865 deaths.