Foundation Releases Follow Up to Naturalistic Teen Driving Study

The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and researchers at the University of Iowa conducted this naturalistic study of teen drivers ages 16 – 19 involved in vehicle crashes between August 2013 and April 2015. There were 538 crashes documented during this time, supplementing the original report’s 1,691 teen driver crashes. The original study found that distraction was a factor in nearly 6 out of 10 moderate-to-severe teen crashes, which is four times as many as official estimates based on police reports. As before, the most frequent potentially-distracting behaviors were conversing or otherwise interacting with passengers and cell phone use. Interestingly, the proportion of cell phone-related crashes that involved operating or looking at the cell phone, as opposed to talking/listening, increased significantly from the beginning of the study period to the end. Teens are more often texting or otherwise manually manipulating their cell phones, instead of talking on them while driving. The report, fact sheet, and PowerPoint can be found at