Young Drivers Talking on Smartphones More Likely to Run Red Lights, Drive Intoxicated

*The following is excerpted from an online article posted on Study Finds.

Using a hand-held phone while driving is a major safety hazard at any age. For young and inexperienced drivers, however, it can lead to even worse decisions behind the wheel. Researchers at Lero, the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Software, find novice drivers who talk or text while driving are more likely to ignore red lights and drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol.

The study finds just the act of using a hand-held phone while driving has a connection to higher odds of speeding, driving drunk, driving without a license, and cutting off other drivers.

Researchers surveyed 700 German Young Novice Drivers (YNDs) with an average age of 21 during this project. The team notes that although this data technically only pertains to Germany, the behavior of these drivers is comparable to other young motorists around the globe.

“The data also indicates a moderately-strong effect between talking on a hand-held phone and speeding more than 20 km/h over the speed limit in urban areas. Speeding in built-up areas is moderately correlated with reading notifications, sending texts, or voice messages,” says Dr. Darren Shannon of Lero and the University of Limerick in a media release.

“There is a strong association between those who speak on their phone and those who engage in risky activity with potentially fatal consequences, such as intoxicated driving, ignoring red traffic lights, and driving with more passengers than seatbelts,” the researcher adds.

The study was published in Transportation Research Part F: Traffic Psychology and Behaviour.

Source: Study Finds

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[reposted by] Jim Liebelt

Jim is Senior Writer, Editor and Researcher for HomeWord. Jim has 40 years of experience as a youth and family ministry specialist, having served over the years as a pastor, author, consultant, mentor, trainer, college instructor, and speaker. Jim’s HomeWord culture blog also appears on and Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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