A new study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety revealed that the use of electronic devices is the leading distractive driving behavior for teen drivers. This study also found that teenage girls are twice as likely as teenage boys to use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving. Video recordings were taken from inside the cars of teen drivers. Over a six-month period, the study recorded 52 teens, ages 16 through 18; more than two-thirds female. After gathering and analyzing the data, the study showed that talking and/or texting on the phone while driving was the most common behavior that distracted young drivers.
Only nine of the fifty-two teen drivers, seventeen percent, failed to use an electronic device while driving. The study also revealed that older teen drivers were more likely to use an electronic device while driving than the younger teen drivers. In States that have banned cell phone use while driving, statistics show that the tendency among new drivers to adhere to prohibitions against using cell phones or texting while driving may fade after time.
In the study, every time an abrupt driving event occurred, a data recording was triggered. In nearly half of the abrupt driving events the driver looked away from the roadway within ten seconds prior to the event. The most common reason for looking away was to peer at an electronic device. Teen drivers were three times more likely to be looking at an electronic device than anything else.
Use of electronic devices while driving has become a very serious problem, which most teen drivers participate in on a very consistent basis, as evidenced by the study referenced above. Teen drivers need to take responsibility for their own actions and refrain from using cell phones while driving, not only for their own safety, but for the safety of others. Also, parents should be closely watching over their teen children when they first start driving to make sure they develop good driving habits. Texting while driving is illegal in Wisconsin and doing so may put others and the driver into needlessly dangerous situations.
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