Distracted Driving

teen driver

Distracted Driving

Motor vehicle crashes (MVC) are the leading cause of death among U.S. teenagers, and distracted driving as a whole is on the rise. The risk of MVCs are higher among 16 to 19 year-olds than among any other age group.

The younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years-old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. Distractions in driving include use of cell phone for talking and texting, food, beverages, and music.

  • The NSC model estimates 21 percent of crashes or 1.2 million crashes in 2013 involve talking on handheld and hands-free cell phones.
  • 13 percent of drivers age 18-20 involved in car wrecks admitted to texting or talking on their mobile devices at the time of the crash.
  • 77 percent of young adult drivers are very or somewhat confident that they can safely text while driving.
  • 55 percent of young adult drivers claim it’s easy to text while they drive.
  • In early 2013, the nation’s four biggest cellphone companies launched their first joint advertising campaign against texting while driving. Verizon Wireless, Sprint and T-Mobile united behind AT&T’s “It Can Wait” advertising campaign, warning their customers against the misuse of their own devices

The most common forms of distraction leading up to a crash by a teen driver:

  • Interacting with one or more passengers: 15 percent of crashes
  • Cell phone use: 12 percent of crashes
  • Looking at something in the vehicle: 10 percent of crashes
  • Looking at something outside the vehicle: 9 percent of crashes
  • Singing/moving to music: 8 percent of crashes
  • Grooming: 6 percent of crashes
  • Reaching for an object: 6 percent of crashes