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Surprising data on teen drivers

By Tara Baukus Mello ·
Saturday, May 5, 2012
Posted: 6 am ET

Young drivers often think they are immune to distracted driving in cars. Young women are far more likely to engage in distracted driving habits than young men. And parents may be influencing these behaviors by not being good role models. These are the surprising findings in a recent study commissioned by Bridgestone Americas.

The recently released data is part of a nationwide survey conducted by Prince Market Research of over 2,000 drivers aged 15 to 21 in the U.S.

More than half of those surveyed said they believed distracted driving was dangerous, but that they can perform the tasks associated with distracted driving without getting distracted. The most popular reasons those surveyed cited for being immune to distraction was that they hadn't had a car accident (which leads to higher car insurance rates) or receive a ticket. A third said they sometimes read text messages when driving, while 20 percent said they sometimes typed a text message when driving.

The study found that young women were far more likely to engage in tasks associated with distracted driving than young men. It found that young women were significantly more likely than young men to change music, play loud music, have more than one person in the car, drink nonalcoholic drinks, eat, read or type a text while driving -- all tasks that are widely associated with distracted driving.

Finally, the study found that those surveyed feel their parents are also partaking in distracted driving behaviors, such as texting, risky driving and speeding. Only 34 percent of those surveyed said their parents were cautious, responsible drivers who followed the rules of the road.

Tara Baukus Mello writes the cars blog as well as the weekly Driving for Dollars column, providing both practical financial advice for consumers as well as insight into the latest developments in the automotive world. Follow her on Facebook here or on Twitter @SheDrives.

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1 Comment
May 06, 2012 at 3:34 pm

How is speeding distracted driving?

Regardless of this error, given that the Germans have fewer deaths per mile driven on the Autobahn, I would say that speeding isn't all that bad. I think it's more the people who fail to signal intent, ride the left lane, etc., that cause highway deaths.