Laughing with friends, singing along to their favorite songs, chattering on their cell phones – typical teenage life recorded on video moments before a fatal or near-fatal car accident.
Statistics confirm distracted driving is the leading cause of teen car accidents, but how do we really know? Who’s to say exactly what these teenagers were doing before impact?
Police piece together information based on cellphone data and eyewitness accounts, but like a puzzle with missing pieces, how do we see the whole story? Enter video evidence.
Video evidence blows cell records and witness accounts out of the water. But how many people do you know with video cameras mounted on their dashboards? Not many.
Thanks to a program that uses video to reduce collision-causing behavior, AAA researchers were able to analyze 6,842 videos. Of the 1,691 videos that captured crashes or hard-breaking events, 58% confirmed driver distraction was the cause.
Distracted driving behaviors captured by video included:
- Talking with passengers
- Talking and texting on a cellphone
- Looking away from the road at something in the vehicle
- Looking at something outside of the vehicle
- Singing along to music
- Grooming while driving
- Reaching for an object
The study led by AAA confirmed that teen drivers using their cellphone had their eyes off the road for an average of 4.1 seconds out of the final six seconds leading up to a collision.
BC’s graduated licensing system was put in place to help reduce the number of teen car crashes caused by distracted drivers. After one year of supervised driving and a class 7 road test, drivers will receive their novice “N” license. Drivers with an “N” license can’t use any hand-held or hands-free electronic devices and they are limited to one passenger (immediate family exempt) unless with a supervisor aged 25+.
Video evidence confirms distracted driving is responsible for at least 58% of teen car crashes.
For more information:
- Driver distractions cause 58% of teen car crashes: study, Associated Press
- Driver licensing, Get your N, ICBC