IRVING, TX, September 25, 2008 - The top driving distraction for Texas teens is talking on cell phones, followed by playing with the radio and having other teens in the car distracting the driver. This according to Allstate Insurance Company's Roadwatch Snapshot - a one-day, real world look at teen driving habits aimed at raising awareness about the dangers of distracted driving.
For the Roadwatch Snapshot, student volunteers from 20 schools across Texas spent a half hour, the afternoon of September 18, near the exit of their student parking lot, tallying up the number of drivers engaged in distracted behavior while leaving school. The result-a tally of 1,124 distractions that included kids driving with their legs and jumping from moving vehicles.
Distracted Driving Behavior Frequency
Talking on cell phone 293
Turning on radio/high radio volume 247
Passengers distracting driver 232
Text messaging 147
Eating or drinking 95
Other distractions 91
Putting on makeup 19
Allstate says talk to your teens about driving distractions. "Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teens with driver error contributing to 87 percent of teen accidents," said Rhonda Young, an Allstate agent in Abilene. "By raising awareness about the dangers of distractions through Roadwatch, Allstate and our teen volunteers hope to save lives."
Simple activities such as talking on a cell phone, texting and switching radio stations can significantly impair a teen's ability to react quickly to changing traffic conditions. A recent survey by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) also found fatal crashes involving teen drivers are much more likely to happen when other teenagers are in the car.
Focus on the Road
During back to school time, Allstate reminds teens to back off the accelerator and reduce potentially deadly driving distractions that can contribute to driver error.
To help teens stay safer this school year parents can initiate a conversation about smart driving using Allstate's Parent-Teen Driving Contract, www.allstate.com\teen. The contract helps set guidelines for smart driving and consequences for not living up to those expectations.
The Roadwatch Snapshot was conducted in the following Texas cities and/or surrounding areas: