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New study shows distraction a huge concern for teen drivers

A new study has revealed some shocking information about distracted driving and teenage drivers, showing that previous estimates and predictions may be way off the mark. The study was performed by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, and it looked at the six-second build-up to more than 1,700 accidents involving teen drivers. In previous estimations, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that distraction was a factor in 14 percent of teen accidents.

According to the AAA study, distraction was a factor in 58 percent of the 1,700 accidents they studied. That's an amazing difference in the perception of distracted driving and teen drivers.

The study elaborated further, saying that distraction was the cause for 89 percent of crashes where a teen driver departed the road and that distraction caused more than three-quarters of rear-end crashes involving teens.

Now, we're not specifically talking about texting while driving here, or even cellphone use while driving. Yes, these are forms of distraction, but there are many other ways that a driver can take his or her focus off the road. Talking to someone else in the car; messing with the radio; trying to move items in the back seat; looking in the rearview mirror to adjust their hair; all of these behaviors qualify as distracted driving.

And teens aren't the only ones doing it. Distracted driving is a major safety concern out on the road right now, and cellphones are certainly a major part of this trend. But there are other ways a driver can be distracted. Don't be a distracted driver -- when you're driving, you should only be focused on the road.

Source: Click On Detroit, "AAA: Distracted driving a factor in 60 percent of teen crashes," March 25, 2015

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