Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions, cooperated to survey the driving behaviors of teen drivers in anticipation of teens driving more hours during summer months. Summer months have demonstrated to be the most deadly for teens. The results of the survey should serve as a wake-up call to how much at risk all of us are from distracted driving-especially teens.
According to figures from the study, 826 teenagers – or 68 percent of those surveyed — were involved in near-miss incidents in 2010-2011. All said they were engaging in distracted behavior while driving.
A whopping 86 percent said they had been talking when the near-miss occurred; 61 percent were changing songs on portable devices with screens while driving; 47 percent had three or more passengers in the vehicle; 46 percent were speeding when they nearly crashed; and 36 percent were talking on cell phones while driving.
According to the survey, more than 35 percent of the near misses were the result of texting.
The survey also indicated that 60 percent of young women involved in near-miss crashes said they changed their driving behavior, compared with 52 percent for young men.
Of the 253 teens who said they were in a crash, 79 percent of young women said their behavior changed, compared with 58 percent for males.
According to Liberty Mutual and SADD, teens are behind the wheel 44 percent more hours each week in the summer, for an average of 23.6 hours.
This is compared with 16.4 hours per week during the school year, the studies reveal.
The findings are troubling and should serve as an alarm for us all to instill safe driving behaviors in young drivers before they ever get behind the wheel. Are you surprised by the results of the study? What efforts should we be taking to educate young people on the dangers of distracted driving?