Distracted driving is a serious problem on our nation's highways. Especially with teenage drivers.

According to a new study conducted by AAA and the University of Iowa, nearly 60 percent of crashes during the summer months are teen-related.

The root of the distracted teen driving problem can be traced to one thing, technology.

With many teens technology and social media are not backseat drivers, they often ride shotgun, if not, right in the driver's seat.

Jim Jensen, driver's education instructor with the Sioux Falls School District says, "Driving is a full-time job, you got to know the right stuff, the right way." According to Jensen, distracted driving has always been a problem. Today, it's just a different kind of problem.

"It's brought about a different kind of drive it's a more unsafe than ever before.”

Jensen still focuses on the basics when it comes to defensive driving. Things like; proper lane changing, how to check all six points of view before pulling out into an intersection, etc.  However, these days, a heavier emphasis is placed on distracted driving both in the car and in the classroom.

Distractions while driving are a real impairment, and research can back that statement up.

Over the last five years, of the 5,000 people killed in auto-related crashes, nearly 60 percent of those accidents have involved teens. With texting, eating and passenger influence being the top three leading factors according to the study.

In the moments leading up to most teen related automobile accidents, the study found that teenage drivers were more likely to be texting or looking at their phones, rather than talking on it.

Jensen is doing his best to drive home this message with the teens that take his driver's education course; focus on the road needs to be just that – focused.

Source: KDLT TV


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