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Distraction Common in Teen Driver Rear-End Collisions

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Kaitlynn Martin1 year ago

According to Reuters Health, a U.S. study used in-car video recorders to obtain information on teen car crashes. It was found that more than three-quarters of the rear end collisions involving a teen driver happened when the teen was paying attention to a phone, passenger, or anything but the road.

Important Information on Distracted Teen Driving

According to the Journal of Safety Research, when teens were distracted by a phone, their reaction times were markedly slower. About half the time they did not brake or steer to avoid the crash.

Recent studies have shown that distraction is much more present that originally thought when it comes to crashes, says lead author of the Transportation and Vehicle Safety Policy Research Program, Cher Charney. She believes teens are overconfident in their abilities as a driver, and tend to take more risks.

In-vehicle even recorders captured data from more than 400 rear end collisions that involved drivers aged 16-19. The devices were triggered to record in the case of hard braking, fast cornering, or an impact force. In almost 90 percent of theses crashes, the driver was not paying enough attention to the road.

While there is no one solution to distracted driving, Carney claims that social norms have to change regarding the acceptance of cell phone use while driving. Parents should set good examples and enforce the rules of not using the cell phone while driving.

According to Rob Foss of the Highway Safety Research Center, distracted driving is not a new problem, and it is likely adults are just as distracted while driving. Foss believes there is nothing we can do to control distracted driving, and that everyone has their moments where they are distracted.

Statistics on Teen Car Crashes

The following information was provided by Teen Driver Source:

  • In 2013, nearly 4,000 drivers aged 15-20 were involved in fatal crashes.
  • Motor vehicle crashes remain the number 1 cause of death for adolescents.
  • Distracted driving is a factor in 14 percent of police-reported crashes involving teen drivers.
  • When it comes to the fatal car crash rate for ages 16-19, it is four times higher based on miles driven, than for drivers aged 25-69. 


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