AAA says distracted driving with teens serious problem - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

AAA says distracted driving with teens serious problem

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CEDAR FALLS (KWWL) - Researchers with the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety say footage from real car crashes, taken from in-vehicle recorders, shows distracted driving is a much more serious problem than we thought.

It's a factor in nearly six out of 10 moderate to severe teen crashes -- four times as many that were estimated before, based on police reports.

Researchers looked at nearly 1,700 videos of teen drivers.

AAA says specifically with cell phone use, drivers have their eyes off the road for an average of 4.1 seconds out of the final 6 seconds leading up to a crash. 

And after 24 years of being in law enforcement, Trooper Matt Hansen has seen distracted driving get worse over the years.

"Nobody expects to have an accident ever at any given day, but when you're on the phone, your expectation level of having an accident go even more because now you're distracted, you're worried about what you're talking about," said Hansen. 

Hansen says it's difficult to enforce in Iowa. 

Right now, texting and driving is just a primary offense for people 18 years and younger. Everyone else, it's a secondary offense.

"I don't want to be a carnival worker out here trying to guess age, height, and weight and that kind of thing. I want to be able to enforce a law," said Hansen. 

View crash videos here:
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