Teenage Driving Distractions

November 30, 2012
Teenage drivers engage in distracted driving behaviors despite knowing that sending a quick text message, tuning the radio, or eating while driving is dangerous. A recent survey by AAA and Seventeen Magazine found 86 Percent of teenagers have driven while distracted, even though 84 percent know it's dangerous.

The survey found 73 percent adjusted their radio/CD/MP3 player, 61 percent ate food, and 60 percent talked on a cell phone while driving. Texting teenage drivers sent an average of 23 text messages a month while driving.

Their excuses given varied: 41 percent think their action will only take a split second; 35 percent don't think they'll get injured; 34 percent said they're used to multitasking; and 32 percent don't think that anything bad will happen to them. Thirty-eight percent say they have been afraid they were going to get hurt because they were the passenger of a distracted driver. Thirty-six percent believe they have been involved in a near-crash because of their own or someone else's distracted driving.

NHTSA reports that nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving distracted or inattentive drivers and more than a half million were injured.

- Ibid 08.16.10.p4