• Video study shows distracted teenage drivers much worse than thought


    As newly released video shows a distracted teen in the final seconds before a crash, a new study out Wednesday finds that distracted driving in teenagers is much worse than first thought.

    In Washington State, teenage drivers are prohibited from using cellphones while driving, and for their first six months behind the wheel, they are not allowed to have passengers under the age of 20 unless they're family members.

    The Triple A Foundation for Safety supports those restrictions after conducting what it calls the most comprehensive research ever conducted.

    In-vehicle video recorders were installed in teens’ vehicles.

    The video showed that distracted driving was a factor in nearly six out of 10 moderate to severe crashes involving teenagers -- four times higher than what was estimated in police reports.

    The most common form of distraction came from the drivers interacting with others in their vehicles or using cellphones.

    Teenagers have the highest crash rate of any group in the United States. More than 2,800 teens died in crashes in 2013.

    In Washington, 60 deaths involved teen drivers.

    Meanwhile, a public hearing in scheduled in Olympia Wednesday on a bill affecting all drivers that would make it illegal to even hold a cellphone while driving.

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