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As an insurance agency, we want to help our clients avoid losses whenever possible.  While insurance can try to “make you whole” financially after a covered loss, the best solutions is to not have the loss at all.  Insurance, after all, cannot bring back a loved one that is killed in an auto accident.  In that spirit, I would like to pass along some very important information.  While this research specifically was done on teen drivers, distracted driving has implications for all drivers.


The Marvin Okun Agency has been an auto insurance agent for AAA Michigan for several years.  AAA nationally, created the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety in 1947.  Their mission, taken directly from their website is "To identify traffic safety problems, foster research that seeks solutions, and disseminate information and educational materials."


This week, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released an in depth naturalistic study of teen driving behavior.  The foundation funded the study by researchers at the University of Iowa and used an in-vehicle video camera system.  They examined the video from 1,691 crashes between August 2007 and July 2013.  Most drivers resided in the Midwest region of the United States.


The key findings of the study:


*The driver was found to be driving too fast for conditions in 79% of single vehicle crashes.

*The driver was inattentive or engaged in some other non-driving related activity in 58% of overall crashes and 89% of road departure crashes.

*Drivers operating or looking at cell phones spent an average of 4.1 seconds of the 6 seconds before the crash looking away from the forward roadway.


Here is a link to the frightening video from the study:


Here is the link to the page with the reports:


If you are the parent of a teen driver, this information could mean the difference between life and death.  In 2013, 963,000 drivers age 16-19 were involved in police-reported motor vehicle accidents resulting in 383,000 injuries and 2,865 deaths.

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