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Study looks at the way teens think about distracted driving

There are many different reasons auto accidents can occur, and it is impossible to blame the problem of negligence in driving on any one factor. As everybody knows, though, distracted driving caused by cell phone use is a particularly common and problematic problem.

With people of all ages now carrying around cell phones, particularly smart phones, there is no category of drivers is immune from lapses of judgment. That being said, young drivers seem to be particularly prone to cell phone-induced distraction, and a recent study highlights this point once again. According to a study recently published by the Center for Injury Research and Prevention at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, some of the reason for this may be that teens have a different way of thinking about distracted driving than older drivers do.

For example, the study found that drivers between the ages of 16 and 18 tend to think about distracted driving on a continuum such that there are some types of cell phone-related activities they will engage in behind the wheel, but others they will not, even though all such activity are considered unsafe. In addition, teens in the study reported that they would engage in the use of a cell phone behind the wheel more or less readily depending on who is on the other end of the conversation and the subject of conversation.

These and other findings will hopefully prove useful, in some way, in the ongoing effort to curb distracted driving behavior. Perhaps what is needed is to change the way young people think about distracted driving. No matter how you define or justify distracted driving, you can still be held responsible for causing injury or death to other drivers. This is something teens, and many adults as well, don’t sufficiently consider.

Source: Medicalxpress.com, “Teens know dangers of driving and cellphone use, yet do it anyway, research shows,” Michele Berger, Dec. 1, 2015. 

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