Teen Drivers Often Unsafe on the Road With Speeding and Handheld Cellphone Use

The following is excerpted from an online article posted by ScienceDaily.

Motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of death in adolescents, and risky driving behaviors like speeding, rapid accelerations, and cellphone use can contribute to crashes. New research presented during the 2022 American Academy of Pediatrics National Conference & Exhibition finds many teens struggle to abide by the rules of the road.

Authors of the abstract, “Using a Novel cellphone Telematic App to Measure Adolescent Driving Behaviors,” found that all teens, no matter their sex, behind the wheel of a car were prone to risky behaviors, particularly handheld cellphone use and speeding. Among teen drivers studied, speeding occurred in approximately 40% of trips, and handheld phone use was detected in just over 30% of trips. In 5% of trips tracked by the study, teenagers were using a cellphone while speeding.

The researchers used a cellphone application to track the driving skills of 165 adolescents in Pennsylvania. The average age of teens in the study was 17.3 years, and the average length of licensure was 8 months. The study found that most adolescents drove short trips, an average of under 6 miles per trip, and less than 2% of trips were at night.

“Our data gives us another insight into teen driving behaviors. Teens were speeding and using their cellphone while driving, but it did not occur in every trip. We want to encourage safe driving and find ways to help prevent those risky driving behaviors that can lead to a crash,” said lead author Catherine McDonald, Ph.D., RN, FAAN, Associate Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Co-Director of the PENN Injury Science Center.

Source: ScienceDaily

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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 Crosswalk.com and Religiontoday.com. Jim and his wife Jenny live in Quincy, MA.

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