Cagle Law Firm
Attorney Zane Cagle

Posted on March 26th, 2015,
by Zane Cagle

Distraction Contributes to 6 out of 10 Teen Car Crashes

Posted on March 26th, 2015 by Zane Cagle

Researchers Viewed 1,700 Videos

Data discovered that cell phone use and passengers are the top crash factors for teen drivers.

Teen Drivers Have the Highest Crash Rate for All Drivers

While part of the cause is inexperience, —–statistically, cell phones and friends in the car are the two biggest distractions for teen drivers.  Research from AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analyzed nearly 1,700 videos of teen-driving accidents and found that distraction is a far more significant cause of teen accident than previously realized.

The 1,700 videos of teen crashes were taken from in-vehicle event recorders and found distraction was a factor in 58 percent of the accidents. Previous estimates based on Federal data showed distraction contributed to only 14 percent of teen-driving crashes.

Teens have the highest crash rate of any age group in the U.S. and safety experts have long sought ways to improve protection and education teen drivers.

Previous statistics were reported from compiling studies and analysis of accident reports, but the Foundation for Traffic Safety researchers believe that information may far under-represent the role of distracted driving in many accidents.

Why was is it believed to be under-reported?  Often, it is difficult for the reporting police officers to determine what caused the distraction at the accident scene and drivers may be reluctant to self-report on their inattention or bad behavior. “There is often a lack of willingness on  the part of the drivers to report …(and) this may be especially true for newly licensed teen drivers for whom the consequences are likely to be more severe,” the report said.

The Importance of Video–AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

“Access to crash videos has allowed us to better understand the moments leading up to a vehicle impact in a way that was previously impossible,” said Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the Foundation for Traffic Safety. This study provides indisputable evidence that teen drivers are distracted in a much greater percentage than previously understood.

  • Not only is distracted driving involved in six out of every 10 teen accidents, but they found that distraction was a factor in 89 percent of road-departure crashes and 76 percent of rear-end crashes
  • Cell phones were the biggest source of distraction. Cell phone use was the second biggest distraction and researchers found that drivers had their eyes diverted from the road for an average of 4.1 seconds leading up to their crash.
  • The top cause of distraction for teen drivers was interacting with one or more passengers. Researchers found that to be the cause of 15 percent  of distracted-driving accidents among the teen drivers.

Also, AAA said that rougly 963,000 drivers between the ages of 16 and 19 were involved in police-reported crashes in 2013. These crashes resulted in 2,865 deaths and more than 383,000 injuries.

What to do after a car crash?

No matter your age, there are some specific things you should do following a car accident:

As well, you can download our Injury Attorney free iPhone/Droid app that has a checklist and area for photo storage and contact numbers for towing, medical assistance, cab service, etc

  • Call law enforcement
  • Check with each occupant to see if emergency medical treatment is needed.  Often, people think they should wait until they see if the other individuals needs medical help before calling the police, but often those few minutes that you wait could be the difference in life or death for some.
  • If you are physically able to do the following, then do the below:
    • Get the name of all drivers involved in the crash including their full name, address, phone number, email and insurance information.
    • Get the names and full contact information for all occupants in the vehicles
    • Get the names and contact information of any witnesses
    • Be sure to get the incident report number from the police officer (s) working the accident
    • Take pictures of your vehicle as well as the other vehicle and preferably take some pictures while the cars are in place at the scene.
  • Seek Medical Treatment. If you were not taken by ambulance away from the scene, that does not mean you should skip a trip to your doctor or the Emergency Room.
  • If you need to report the auto accident claim to your insurance company, just give them the facts such as time, date and incident report number.
  • Do not give any recorded statements to ANY insurance companies until you speak with an attorney
  • Continue to monitor your physical progress in the following days and weeks.
  • Do not settle with your insurance company regarding bodily injury for a minimum of 30 days.  Usually, it takes some time to recover from the general soreness and pain even if you are not seriously injured.  You have no business signing any bodily injury settlement in the first 30 days after your incident because you simply do not have confirmation that you are physically fine.
  • Call an attorney as soon as possible after seeking medical treatment.

If you are not hurt, great–then you probably will not need us

However, if you are hurt and your medical recovery is going to take more than just an initial doctor’s visit, you may need an experienced car accident attorney.

Our attorneys are available seven days a week 1-800-685-3302 or locally 314-276-1681