Study Outlines Teens' Worst Driving Habits As Deadly Crashes Spike

Wednesday, October 12th 2016, 3:07 pm
By: News On 6

The number of teenagers involved in deadly car crashes is rising for the first time in nearly a decade. 

New data from federal regulators reveal a 10-percent increase last year in teen driving deaths. Teens are more than one-and-a-half times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly crash.

Twenty-one percent more Oklahoma teens were involved in fatal motor vehicle crashes in 2015 than in 2014, a sobering statistic to consider, AAA says.

The Oklahoma Highway Safety Office also says the number of drivers age 16 to 19 involved in motor vehicle crashes in 2015 in the state – 13,683 – is 8.5 percent more than the 12,611 teens involved in crashes the year before. 

“We know Oklahoma’s graduated driver licensing law and the recent ban on texting by all drivers are having positive impacts on teen crash rates but clearly more needs to be done,” said Chuck Mai, spokesman for AAA Oklahoma. 

In Oklahoma and nationwide, motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teens.

Eight in 10 adults between ages 35 to 55 admit to driving while talking on the phone – more than teens. About half of teens and adults drive 15 mph over the speed limit. But when you add inexperience, speed and distraction, you get deadly results for the younger drivers, reports CBS News correspondent Kris Van Cleave. 

Almost a decade later, speeding remains the top mistake teens make behind the wheel. Of the nearly 14,000 fatal crashes involving teen drivers over the last five years, more than 4,200 involved speed. 

 “I think one of the kind of disturbing things is that it’s not getting any better,” said Tamra Johnson of the AAA. 

 Johnson said an AAA survey found parents were often more guilty of bad driving than their teens. Sixty-five percent of driving instructors complained parents were worse at teaching their children to drive than a decade ago. 

“When parents set stricter rules for their teens before they get behind the wheel, those teens typically have less crashes,” Johnson said. 

After speed, the most common mistake teens make is distracted driving. Christian Castellano got a ticket texting while driving. 

“I thought that he was Snapchatting actually, because he had it up like this, but he said that he was texting,” said Officer Bobby Allen of the Tennessee Highway Patrol.

“Do you text and drive a lot?” Van Cleave asked. 

“Normally no, because my mom got onto me when I first started driving, and so after that I quit doing it, and then I was running late,” Castellano said. 

The third big mistake is not properly scanning the road for hazards. Video captured one teen failing to notice another car running the red light.