Teenage drivers are at a higher risk of getting into a car accident than any other age group. There are various factors involved in crashes, and distracted driving is one of them.
There are many examples of distracted driving, and they are even more dangerous for inexperienced drivers such as teenagers. Most accidents are preventable, and there are strategies to reduce distracting behaviors.
Common distracting behaviors
According to a study by the National Library of Medicine, National Center for Biotechnology Information, around 58% of teenage drivers engage in at least one distracting task when driving. The most common behavior is interacting with another passenger in the vehicle, and the risk of a crash increases when the passenger is another teen. Additional distractions include:
- Talking or singing
- Stimuli outside of the vehicle
- Fiddling with the radio, navigation system or other in-vehicle system
- Cellphone use
- Personal hygiene
- Beverage and food intake
The study also showed that teens who have their own vehicle are more likely to engage in distracting behaviors than those who share a vehicle with another family member.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration discusses various prevention tactics to reduce distracted driving by teens. Teenage engagement is a strong strategy, as their peers tend to listen to them more. Teens should point out when their friends are driving while distracted.
Parents also play an important role, as they are models to their children. Parents should lead by example and refrain from using the phone or engaging in other distractions while driving. They should review the state’s graduated driver licensing program to help enforce the rules. Parents may also choose to write up a driving agreement that outlines consequences for certain things like cellphone use while driving.