This post is brought to you by cranky old men everywhere.
Teens, put down your goddamn phones and look at the road. Stop changing tracks on Spotify, stop texting bae. Stop dancing with your friends and looking at stuff in your passenger seat. Please look at the road. You're going to die.
Check out this two minute video from AAA:
Before you ask, yes, those are real in-car videos from crashes involving distracted teens. And yes, all of the kids in that video are incredibly lucky.
AAA has just concluded what they claim to be "the most comprehensive research ever conducted into crash videos of teen drivers." What they found is that distracted driving among teens is much worse than they thought.
"Researchers analyzed the six seconds leading up to a crash in nearly 1,700 videos of teen drivers taken from in-vehicle event recorders. The results showed that distraction was a factor in 58 percent of all crashes studied, including 89 percent of road-departure crashes and 76 percent of rear-end crashes. NHTSA previously has estimated that distraction is a factor in only 14 percent of all teen driver crashes," says AAA.
Now, all of those "distractions" aren't cellphone related. About 12% are. But 6% of the crashes are caused by "reaching for an object" and 10% by "looking at something in the vehicle."
Researchers found that drivers manipulating their cell 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.
Cranky old man* knows that adults text and drive, too. But cranky old man also knows that teens have the highest crash rate of any group of drivers on the road – 963,000 drivers aged 16 to 19 were involved in police-reported crashes in 2013.
“It is troubling that passengers and cell phones were the most common forms of distraction given that these factors can increase crash risks for teen drivers,” said AAA CEO Bob Darbelnet. “The situation is made worse by the fact that young drivers have spent less time behind the wheel and cannot draw upon their previous experience to manage unsafe conditions.”
Exactly. Your experience is weak.
*Person who was 19 nine years ago