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Female Teen Drivers more Distracted than Males

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Posted on February 21, 2014

More than one in three teens die as a result of a motor vehicle accident, making this the leading cause of death for young people in the US. Traffic safety experts cite inexperience behind the wheel, immaturity and a lack of parental involvement as the primary factors behind fatal auto accidents involving teenage drivers. Sadly, smartphone capabilities have added to distracted driving, a rising concern as it contributed to more than 3,000 highway deaths in 2010.

Contrary to previous studies placing teenage males at a higher risk for car crashes, recent research revealed that in this case girls are the more distracted driver. Recent data shows they’re two times as likely to use cell phones or other electronics while driving. Angela Patterson of Bridgestone Americas, which helped conduct the study, said:

“There’s a remarkable difference between boys and girls when it comes to distracting driving habits. In almost every category we surveyed … girls are more likely to engage in dangerous or distracting behaviors by almost 15%.”

The overwhelming majority of teen girls who responded to the study admitted that changing music on car stereos and playing loud music while driving distracted them. 83% of teen girls also told researchers that driving with more than one passenger in the vehicle caused them to lose focus on the road.

Teen Driver Distraction Statistics

  1. Almost 65% of all teen passenger deaths occurred while another teen was driving
  2. A 2007 national survey found that nearly 3 out of 10 teens said they had driven with a driver who had been drinking within the previous month
  3. 56% of teen traffic accident fatalities occurred Friday, Saturday or Sunday
  4. Girls are 15% more likely to engage in distracting behavior
  5. Only one-third of teen girls say talking on phone is “very dangerous”
  6. People ages 15-24 represent 14% of the U.S. population, but they account for 58% ($26 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries, according to the CDC
  7. At least 3,000 teens are killed each year in auto accidents in the US
  8. Each year, approximately 300,000 teenagers are treated at hospitals for non-fatal injuries from distracted driving accidents
  9. Per mile driven, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are three times more likely than drivers aged 20 and older to be in a fatal crash
  10. In their first year of driving, 1/5 of 16-year-old drivers has an accident; 16-year-olds have higher crash rates than drivers of any other age
  11. Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use – in 2011, only 54% of high school students reported they always wear seat belts when riding with someone else
  12. Teens who text and drive are 50% more likely to crash than teens who drink and drive
  13. 56% of teens admit to talking on the phone while driving. Talking on a cell phone can double the likelihood of an accident
  14. Texting-related accidents are the leading cause of traffic fatalities for teenagers in the US
  15. The presence of teen passengers increases the crash risk of unsupervised teen drivers. This risk increases with the number of teen passengers


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