Report lists top distractions for young drivers

Suggests waiting until parked to use phones, read directions.

Reducing distractions may help young drivers avoid accidents - and cut their auto insurance premiums.

Sixteen-year-olds are most likely to get in an auto accident, according to a 2008 report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. About 4,000 teenagers age 13 to 19 died in motor vehicle crashes that year, making it the leading cause of death for that age group. Multitasking is often the problem.

A recent report by online auto marketplace revealed 10 of the top distractions young drivers contend with. Cellphone use and fidgeting with controls are high among these. Other distractions include playing music too loudly to hear sirens, reading directions rather than looking at the road and driving angry.

"Driving angry is like driving drunk," the report said. "To prevent an ugly situation from getting uglier, just stay away from anything with wheels until your heart rate has returned to normal."

Legislation has been passed in many states to reduce driving distractions. Fifteen states have passed laws banning text messaging while driving, while six have banned cellphone use altogether. A sample bill recently proposed by the U.S. Department of Transportation would allow law enforcement officials to stop and cite drivers for text messaging.ADNFCR-2378-ID-19630233-ADNFCR

Posted: February 22, 2010

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