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May 21, 2010

Phones, Text, and Music: Distractions For Teen Drivers

Ap-artistic-text-message-1642 While drinking and driving is a dangerous behavior unto itself, many teens are introducing other distractions into the mix when they are behind the wheel. More than one-in-three teens say they often change songs on their MP3 players, speed or text; while more than one-in-four confess that they regularly drive with multiple passengers or talk on the cell phone while driving. They do this despite significant percentages who admit the behavior is very distracting. For example, 33 percent of teens report texting while driving "often" or "very often," even though 40 percent find the behavior "very" or "extremely" distracting.

Ap-artistic-new-text-message NHTSA estimates that distracted driving, including the use of nomadic electronic devices such as MP3 players and PDAs, may be involved in some capacity in up to 80 percent of road collisions.

About the Liberty Mutual/SADD Teen Driving Partnership
Since 1991, Liberty Mutual and SADD have collaborated on research and responsible solutions to keep families safe behind the wheel. In addition to the Family Driving Ground Rules agreement, www.LibertyMutualTeenDriving.com also features helpful resources, such as tips on how to talk to teens about driving distractions and dangers such as cell phones, text messaging, speeding, and alcohol and drug use; video demonstrations of safe driving techniques; state-by-state teen driving laws; individual car safety scores; tips on buying and caring for a car; and an exclusive 50 percent discount for teens to take the National Safety Council's online Defensive Driving Course.

Ap-promcar-anitapatterson-morguefile.com_archive_display_68874Teens also can use the website to remind their parents about driving safety by taking a 10-question driving quiz and then challenging Mom and Dad to match or beat their score.

 Want more tips on Prom Night safety?
For so many teens, prom night isn't a time to dwell on safety. It means fancy dresses, smart tuxes, and an exciting night out. But anytime is a good time to share these young driver guidelines from Ford.

About the Survey
Liberty Mutual and SADD commissioned ORC Guideline to conduct a qualitative and quantitative survey to measure teen driving attitudes and behaviors. The study was initiated with a series of five focus groups held in Boston, Denver and Minneapolis in April 2009. The study also involved surveying a total of 2,531 teens in eleventh and twelfth grades from 25 randomly recruited high schools across the country in the fall of 2009. These findings can be interpreted with a 95 percent confidence interval with an error margin of +/- 1.7 percent.

About Liberty Mutual Group
"Helping people live safer, more secure lives" since 1912, Boston-based Liberty Mutual Group (www.LibertyMutualGroup.com) is a diversified global insurer and fifth-largest property and casualty insurer in the U.S. based on 2008 direct written premium. Liberty Mutual Group ranks 86th on the Fortune 500 list of largest U.S. corporations, based on 2008 revenue. The company has over 45,000 employees located in more than 900 offices throughout the world.

The eighth-largest auto and home insurer in the U.S., Liberty Mutual (www.libertymutual.com) sells full lines of coverage for automobile, homeowners, valuable possessions, personal liability, and individual life insurance. The company is an industry leader in affinity partnerships, offering car and home insurance to employees and members of more than 12,000 companies, credit unions, professional associations and alumni groups.

About SADD

For more than 27 years, SADD (Students Against Destructive Decisions) has been committed to empowering young people to lead education and prevention initiatives in their schools and communities. Founded as Students Against Driving Drunk in 1981, SADD (www.sadd.org) has become the nation's preeminent peer-to-peer youth education, prevention and activism organization, with nearly 10,000 chapters in middle schools, high schools, and colleges nationwide. SADD now highlights prevention of many destructive behaviors that are harmful to young people, including underage drinking, substance abuse, risky and impaired driving, and teen violence and suicide.

Creative commons image by anitapatterson at morguefile

This is the last in a three-part story:
Wednesday: Study Shows 90 Percent of Teens Admit Likelihood of Drinking and Driving on Prom Night
Thursday: Parents Play a Key Role In Teen Drinking and Driving Habit
Friday: Phones, Text and Music - Distractions For Teen Drivers



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