A new study of teen driving behavior has found that the use of electronic devices is the leader among distracted driving behaviors, and that teenage girls are twice as likely as boys to use cell phones or other electronic devices while driving.
The findings, from a study of video taken of young drivers, were released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
Talking on the phone or texting while driving was the most common behavior that distracted young drivers, more so than adjusting controls, grooming, eating or drinking, or engaging in horseplay or loud conversations with passengers.
"This new study provides the best view we've had about how and when teens engage in distracted driving behaviors believed to contribute to making car crashes the leading cause of death for teenagers," said AAA Foundation President and CEO Peter Kissinger.
In nearly half (45 percent) of the abrupt driving events which triggered the data recording, the driver looked away from the roadway at some point within the 10 seconds preceding the event. Most did only briefly - two seconds or less - but 12 percent looked away for at least four seconds. Also, females looked away more often than males.
The reason for looking away? Drivers were three times as likely to be looking at an electronic device than anything else.