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There's no doubt that smart phone are addictive. The average smartphone user will check their device almost 85 times per day. While we already know how distracting they are for drivers, a new report suggests that the allure of using smartphones while driving is just a gateway to other bad behavior for teens.
The report, issued by State Farm this summer, explains that teens who had been in a crash are more than three times more likely to report that they browse the internet and watch videos while driving. And if that wasn't enough, that same group was two to three times more likely to text, take pictures or videos, use social media, and even play games while driving.
What Dangerous Activities Does Smartphone Use Lead To?
Although driving while using a smartphone is dangerous on its own, the research has shown that teens are using more than just the call feature on their smartphones. The study shows that over a third of teen drivers reported talking and reading texts while driving, and 15% engage in sending texts, watching videos, or using social media while driving. The data shows that the older the teen driver, the more risky behaviors they tend to engage in.
Not surprisingly, the data shows that teens that use their smart phones while driving have much higher rates for accidents. Additionally, the data suggests that teens that use more features of smart phones while driving have a higher occurrence of other risky behaviors including driving under the influence, not wearing a seat-belt, and/or speeding.
Teen Driving Fatalities
While teen drivers face a host of risk factors while on the road, smartphones only increase the danger. The CDC reports that in 2014, over 2,000 teens died in auto accidents, and over 200,000 were treated for injuries from car accidents.