A new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety is garnering national attention for a shocking set of videos that show distracted teen drivers in action. The study - which was released just in time for April’s National Distracted Driving Awareness Month - was designed to determine how common and dangerous distractions are among teen drivers.

Here are a few points about the study:

  • Researchers at the AAA foundation compiled and analyzed over 6,000 videos of distracted teenage drivers. These videos contained views of drivers and their actions, and outside roadway conditions from a dash cam.
  • After examining the videos, researchers determined that distraction was a contributing factor in roughly 60% of moderate to severe teen car accidents. This was approximately four times official estimates in police reports.
  • The foundation made reference to a number of distractions displayed by the teen drivers, including adjustments of radios/music, personal grooming, text messaging, talking on a cell phone, and eating. The most common distraction was talking to another occupant of the vehicle.

The AAA study - coupled with actual videos of distracted teen drivers just moments before their crashes - has sparked new conversations over the need to better educate new drivers and the importance of avoiding distractions.

Researchers are hopeful that the study will prompt lawmakers across the country to pass tougher distracted driving laws and to create tighter passenger restrictions for novice drivers. In Texas, novice drivers (newly licensed drivers within the first 12 months) are prohibited from text messaging and using cell phones.

At Fibich, Leebron, Copeland & Briggs, our attorneys have worked with many victims and families who have been harmed in auto accidents caused by distracted and negligent drivers. We’d like to remind everyone about the risks of distractions behind the wheel, and to always make safety a priority.

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