The fact that teenage drivers are statistically more likely to crash their cars is not news, but thanks to modern technology we can now gawk at the conditions that cause those crashes. To drive home the point of teen-driving safety, the AAA put together a videoof in-car camera footage showing some of the worst instances of distracted driving you're likely to ever see. They come from a pool of 6,842 videos compiled by Lytx, a company that makes dashboard cameras and event recorders.
Each clip shows footage of the driver alongside footage of a dash cam looking ahead. They show teenagers texting, talking on the phone or to a passenger, and generally not paying attention. No clip appears to show a crash that led to injuries, but needless to say these are not people you would want to share the road with.
The video backs a recent AAA survey of camera and event-recorder data, which found that distraction was a factor in 58 percent of the 1,700 crashes studied. According to the group, top causes of distraction were "interacting with passengers"—which was a factor in 15 percent of cases—"cell phone use" (12 percent), and "looking at something in the vehicle" (10 percent).
In addition, researchers found that drivers using cell phones took their eyes off the road an average 4.1 of the final 6.0 seconds before a crash, and failed to react more than half the time during an impending rear-end collision.
That young, inexperienced drivers are more prone to distraction, or even the more recent issue of cell-phone use, shouldn't be news to anyone. Many of the adult drivers who will probably "tsk" the teens in this video can likely remember doing equally stupid things when they were young—or maybe not so young.
A video like this is good for scaring people into awareness, but that's only helpful if awareness leads to action. That means keeping a watchful eye on new drivers, and perhaps expanding driver training to give those that pay attention the skills to deal with those that don't.