The Governors Highway Safety Association released a report Aug. 26 illustrating the growing problem of distracted teen drivers.
The GHSA's report — Distracted & Dangerous: Helping States Keep Teens Focused on the Road — indicated that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for 15- to 20-year-olds. The report also stated that teen drivers accounted for the largest proportion of drivers distracted at the time of a fatal crash in 2012.
To reduce those numbers, nearly two dozen states will implement a series of initiatives to help young drivers avoid distractions. GHSA Executive Director Jonathan Adkins said that now is the time to share this message, with kids heading back to school.
"Teens have the highest crash risk of any age group, and research confirms that distraction is often a factor," he said in a press release. "Eliminating distraction caused by electronic devices and passengers, two of the main culprits for novice drivers, is essential."
The report did find that the youngest drivers are less likely than any age group (except those 60 years old and older) to use a cell phone while driving.
"Many brand new teen drivers recognize passengers and portable electronics are distracting," Adkins said. "But as they gain experience and become more confident in their driving skills, their attitudes about talking and texting while driving...changes."