Distracted Driving
know facts about teen distracted driving

Facts About Teen Distracted Driving

Knowing the statistics and facts about teen distracted driving can help families manage this dangerous crash risk. Driving while distracted can make it difficult to react during a potential crash, especially for teen drivers. Peer passengers, talking or texting on a cell phone, changing the radio, eating, or applying makeup are all dangerous distractions. If the brain is thinking about anything other than driving, it can make it difficult to react during a potential crash, especially for inexperienced teen drivers

Beyond sharing facts and statistics about distracted driving, parents need to model safe driving behaviors by not using a cell phone --  whether hands-free or hand-held -- while driving (including at stoplights)  and not applying makeup, fiddling with the radio, or eating when behind the wheel.

Parents should limit peer passengers for their newly licensed teens, a major crash risk. Two or more peer passengers more than triples the risk of a fatal crash with a teen behind the wheel. The aim is engaged driving, where teen drivers are continuously attentive and focused.


Distraction was a key factor in 58 percent of crashes involving drivers ages 16 to 19, according to an analysis of video footage of 1,691 moderate-to-severe crashes 6 seconds before they occurred.

More Facts About Teen Distracted Driving

  • In 2017, distracted driving was reported in crashes that killed 3,166 people (8.6 percent of all fatalities), although many instances may go unreported.

  • Even though teens recognize that talking or texting on a cell phone or using social media apps while driving is unsafe, they often engage in these behaviors anyway.

  • In 2017, nearly 40 percent of high school students reported texting or emailing while driving during the past month.

  • Teen drivers receive the most calls from their parents, more than general calling patterns would suggest.

Pick Your Practice

With a couple of clicks, think about what skills you would like to practice first as a learner driver, and we’ll point you to videos and tips on how to practice them. Take this online driving quiz to Pick Your Practice!

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