The AAA Foundation study found the following to be the top three distractions for teens when behind the wheel in the moments leading up to a crash:
- Talking or attending to other passengers in the vehicle (15% of crashes).
- Talking, texting or operating a cell phone (12% of crashes).
- Attending to or looking at something inside the vehicle: (11% of crashes).
Between 2007 and 2015 an average of 59% of crashes contained some type of potentially distracting behavior during the six seconds leading up to a crash.
The latest government statistics indicate that, in 2014, 10% of teen drivers involved in a fatal crash were reported to have been distracted at the time of the crash. Proportionally, this is more than any other age group.
The AAA Foundation report notes that experts believe that the government statistics substantially underestimate the prevalence of driver distraction. Data suggests that the true proportion of crashes that can be attributed to distraction and inattention is likely much higher.
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