With teen crash rates roughly four times higher than those of adult drivers, traffic crashes remain the leading cause of death for teenagers in America. Today, the Foundation released the results from our new teen driver study which showed that females display more distracted behaviors behind the wheel than males.
Using in-car video footage, researchers identified the prevalence and consequences of various distracted driver behaviors and distracting conditions among teens during high g-force maneuvers, such as swerving, hard braking, or rapid acceleration.
Interestingly, gender played a role in some of the distractions observed. Females were nearly twice as likely as males to use an electronic device while driving, and overall were nearly 10% more likely to be observed engaging in other distracted behaviors, such as reaching for an object in the vehicle (nearly 50% more likely than males) and eating or drinking (nearly 25% more likely).
Males, on the other hand, were roughly twice as likely to turn around in their seats while driving, and were also more likely to communicate with people outside of the vehicle.
Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll discuss more findings from this study, including how electronics, passengers and other distractions affect teen driver behavior.