New Study Sheds Light on Teen Driver Crashes

In March 2015, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety and the University of Iowa released the largest naturalistic study of teen drivers ever conducted. The study titled “Using Naturalistic Driving Data to Assess the Prevalence of Environmental Factors and Driver Behaviors in Teen Driver Crashes” analyzed 1,700 crash videos of teen drivers, which captured activity in the 6 seconds preceding moderate-to-severe crashes collected from August 2007- July 2013.The results found significant evidence that distracted driving is likely much more of a serious problem than previously known. Distraction for teen drivers was a factor in 58 percent of all crashes studied; including 89 percent of road-departure crashes and 76 percent of rear-end crashes. Passengers were present in 36% of all crashes, and 84% of them were estimated to be between the ages of 16-19. The driver was engaged in cell phone use in 12% of crashes, and looked away from the forward roadway for an average of 4.1 seconds out of the final 6 seconds before a crash. NHTSA data derived from police reports estimated distraction to be a factor in only 14 percent of all teen driver crashes.

The full report, fact sheet, and B-roll of crash videos can be found on our website at: