High school students from across 20 schools in Texas volunteered to spend half an hour last Thursday, Sept. 18, in their school parking lot tracking the driving habits of their fellow students. Abilene was one of ten cities participating in the Allstate Insurance Company's "Roadwatch Snapshot."
Of the 1,124 distractions that the teens tallied up, It may come as no surprise that the top driving distraction was talking on cell phones.
Not named in the top seven distracting behaviors were things like driving with their legs and jumping from moving vehicles.
"Motor vehicle crashes are the number one killer of teens with driver error contributing to 87 percent of all teen accidents," said Rhonda Young, an Allstate agent in Abilene. "By raising awareness about the dangers of distractions through 'Roadwatch,' Allstate and our teen volunteers hope to save lives."
Here's a breakdown of the distracting behavior. The first number is how often Abilene students observed the behavior. The second number is the total recorded by students statewide.
- Talking on cell phone: 23 / 293
- Turning on radio/high radio volume: 37 / 247
- Passengers distracting driver: 43 / 232
- Text messaging: 23 / 147
- Eating or drinking: 12 / 95
- Other distractions: 11 / 91
- Putting on makeup: 2 / 19
- Allstate's guide for teen drivers
- Teen driving fact sheet from the CDC
- NHTSA's traffic safety for teens