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What Types of Dangerous Driving Behaviors Affect Wilmington Teenagers?

Teenagers continue to die more often from car accidents than from any other cause, and continue to be the demographic group with the highest rate of motor vehicle accident risks. Teen drivers are a large part of the reason why the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day is known as the 100 deadliest days of the year. More young people are driving during this time, and traveling to a diverse array of locations rather than just going to school or work. Many young people are also largely unsupervised during the summer months as they have off from school and their parents work.

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As the summer approaches quickly and teenagers get to spend their season enjoying time off, it is important to understand what some of the biggest risks these young drivers face are. Distracted driving, for example, is one of the most common causes of teen collisions. However, recent studies suggest parents and kids may be surprised to find out what behaviors are actually the most distracting for young people behind the wheel.

What Kinds of Distracted Driving Behaviors Put Teens at Risk?

Cell phone use for talking, texting, looking at emails, or any other purpose is undeniably dangerous for young drivers. However, a recent study reported on by CBS News suggests there may actually be something more dangerous than being on the phone or using an electronic device: having young people in the car.

Teens who drive with passengers could find themselves with friends who are noisy, who horse around, or who otherwise take the teen driver's focus away from the road.  When these things happen, crash risks go up significantly. Researches decided to look at what was causing teen crashes and high-risk driving behaviors, so placed cameras into the cars of 52 teenagers over several months.

The researchers tracked near-miss incidents in which teens had to take evasive action to avoid an accident happening. The research showed loud passengers who were horsing around could cause the crash risk for the people in the car to be three times higher than the crash risk for a teen driver who didn't have peers in the car. If the passengers were simply talking loudly and not horsing around, the risk was actually six times greater.

The idea that teen passengers contribute to crash risks has been well-established, with AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety reporting that having two or more teen passengers in the car will double the collision risk. Having three passengers or more who are under 21 in the car with a teen driver actually results in four times the risk of a collision occurring.

Teens and their parents need to understand how dangerous it is to have many young people in the car together, and this knowledge should guide teen behavior over the course of the summer season.

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