Despite few crashes, AAA finds novice teen drivers still at risk

AAA Colorado to observe National Teen Driver Safety Week October 18-24

DENVER, October 19 – Great strides have been made to improve the safety of teen drivers over the past 20 years. Between 1994-2013, the number of people injured and killed annually in crashes involving teen drivers declined by 51 percent and 56 percent, respectively. Despite these improvements, motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for teen drivers in the United States. AAA Colorado will be joining with other traffic safety advocates to observe National Teen Driver Safety Week October 18-24.

AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety research shows that distraction is much more of a serious problem for teens than was previously known. Distraction from a cell phone is among the top two most common forms of distraction – second only to peer pressure. The Foundation’s 2015 Traffic Safety Culture Index results show that teens acknowledge the danger of distracted driving, including texting or talking on a cell phone while driving, but do it anyway.

  • 74 percent of drivers ages 16-18 say texting or emailing while driving is completely unacceptable, yet one in three (33 percent) report having done so in the last month.
  • Nearly half of teen drivers age 16-18 report to having read a text message or email while driving in the last month.
  • Three out of five teen drivers ages 16-18 report having talked on a cell phone while driving in the last month.

Parents should remain engaged with their teen during the learning-to-drive process and teach them about the danger of cell phone use while driving. In addition, parents themselves should set a good example by limiting potential distractions while driving. Despite the stereotypes of teen drivers, AAA Foundation research shows teens report talking on their phone while driving significantly less than most adults.

AAA Colorado recommends that all drivers, especially teens, avoid distractions when behind the wheel. The risk of distraction is especially important for teens that lack driving experience. Parents can find tips on how to help their teens stay safe of the road by visiting TeenDriving.AAA.com.

About AAA Colorado
AAA Colorado has more than 600,000 members and is an advocate for safety and security for all travelers. As North America’s largest motoring and leisure travel organization, AAA provides more than 54 million members with travel, insurance, financial and automotive related services, as well as member exclusive savings.