Distracted Driving’s Impact Affects All Ages

by Community Manager on ‎10-13-2015 09:57 AM - last edited on ‎11-25-2015 11:14 AM by Lithium Technologies (1,574 Views)

New insights are shedding light on how and when we’re driving distracted—and how best to avoid it.


In today’s wireless world, it’s easy to become distracted. But being distracted in the car is dangerous, and often deadly.

By conducting numerous studies on distracted driving, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety has gained insight into how this behavior affects various groups:

Teen drivers have the highest crash rate of any group in the United States. And when researchers examined videos of nearly 1,700 crashes involving teens as part of a 2015 AAA Foundation study, they found that 6 in 10 teen drivers were distracted during the six seconds leading up to a crash—mostly by talking to passengers or using cell phones.

Some 56 percent of adult drivers think using cell phones hands-free is acceptable while driving, according to a 2014 Foundation study. Not only is it distracting to use hands-free systems, but drivers remain distracted for as long as 27 seconds after finishing a task using a voice-command system, according to a recently completed Foundation study.

Older drivers are some of the safest on the road. They wear their seat belts more often and are less likely to speed compared to other groups. In an ongoing Foundation study, nearly 100 percent of respondents disapproved of texting or emailing while driving. But 52 percent of drivers ages 65 to 69 reported talking on the phone in the last month while behind the wheel.


Staying Safe
It can be tempting to reach for a beeping phone. Here are some tips on how to avoid distracted driving:

  1. Turn off your cell phone. Silence or power down your phone before you begin driving.
  2. Put your phone where you can’t see it. If you’re tempted to check your phone, try storing it in the glove compartment.
  3. Get support from friends or family. Let them know you don’t respond to calls or texts while driving.
  4. Avoid other common distractions, such as admiring the scenery, entering directions into a GPS device, eating, paying attention to a pet, or using the rearview mirror to groom.

Read more on distracted driving—including a few facts that may surprise you. Visit the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety website for more information on this and other safety-related research.


A version of this story appears in the November/December 2015 issue of AAA Living magazine.


Image credit/source: Teaser credit: Tetra Images/Getty Images; Video credit: AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety

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