Teen passengers: 'The other distraction' for teen drivers
A pair of studies by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and State Farm® identify factors that may lead teens to drive with multiple peer passengers and, then, how those passengers may affect their driver's behavior just before a serious crash. The studies were published today in the Journal of Adolescent Health.
Experts have long known that peer passengers increase teen driver crash risk. What hasn't been well understood was how they increase crash risk. "These studies help us understand the factors that may predispose teens to drive with multiple friends and how those passengers may contribute to crashes by distracting the driver and promoting risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating, or weaving," said study author Allison Curry, PhD, director of epidemiology at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention. "Knowing this, we can develop programs that work in tandem with current Graduated Driver Licensing laws that limit the number of passengers for teens during their first year of driving."
The first study surveyed 198 teen drivers and found that teens who are most likely to drive with multiple passengers shared the following characteristics: considered themselves "thrill-seekers," perceived their parents as not setting rules or monitoring their whereabouts, and possessed a weak perception of the risks associated with driving in general.
"The good news is that that these teens make up the minority," said Jessica Mirman, PhD, study author and a behavioral researcher. "Teens in this study generally reported strong perceptions of the risks of driving, low frequencies of driving with multiple passengers, and strong beliefs that their parents monitored their behavior and set rules."
The second study analyzed a nationally-representative sample of 677 teen drivers involved in serious crashes to compare the likelihood of driver distraction and risk-taking behaviors just prior to the crash when teens drive with peer passengers and when they drive alone.
"Both male and female teen drivers with peer passengers were more likely to be distracted just before a crash as compared to teens who crashed while driving alone," explained Dr. Curry. "Among the teens who said they were distracted by something inside the vehicle before they crashed, 71 percent of males and 47 percent of females said they were distracted directly by the actions of their passengers."
Additionally, the researchers found males with passengers were almost six times more likely to perform an illegal maneuver and more than twice as likely to drive aggressively just before a crash, as compared to males driving alone. Females rarely drove aggressively prior to a crash, regardless of whether they had passengers in the car.
"Most teens take driving seriously and act responsibly behind the wheel. However, some may not realize how passengers can directly affect their driving," said Dr. Mirman. "Teen passengers can intentionally and unintentionally encourage unsafe driving. Because it can be difficult for new drivers to navigate the rules of the road and manage passengers, it's best to keep the number of passengers to a minimum for the first year."
The study authors also emphasized the important role parents play in supporting safe driving among teens and their passengers. They recommend parents set a house rule of no non-sibling teen passengers for the first six months of driving and only one non-sibling passenger for the second six months.
"It's critical that parents stay involved in their teens' driving beyond the learner permit phase. This includes continuing to monitor their driving activities and to review ways teens can be safe drivers and passengers," said Chris Mullen, research director at State Farm. "Combined with Graduated Driver Licensing laws that limit passengers for the first year of driving, involved parents are an effective strategy to protect teens from a dangerous and preventable crash risk driving with their friends."
Provided by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
- Fatal crashes fall among teen drivers Apr 07, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- New interactive website helps parents keep teen drivers safe Jun 16, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Passengers, not just mobile phones, contribute to road accidents May 22, 2007 | not rated yet | 0
- Teen drivers would benefit from greater restrictions Jan 14, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Teens making poor choices when it comes to riding in vehicles Aug 27, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Artemio Martinez balanced his corpulent frame on a stool in a Mexico City street taco stand, downing a sweet soda and eating a final pork-filled corn tortilla.
Health 16 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0
People eating at fast food restaurants largely underestimate the calorie content of meals, especially large ones, according to a paper published today in BMJ.
Health 11 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Don't doubt it when a woman harried by hot flashes says she's having a hard time remembering things. A new study published online in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS), helps confirm with o ...
Health 13 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
The Senate has overwhelmingly rejected an amendment allowing states to require labeling of genetically modified foods.
Health 13 hours ago | not rated yet | 1
The World Health Organization voiced deep concern Thursday over the SARS-like virus that has killed 22 people in less than a year, saying it might potentially spread more widely between humans.
1 minute ago | not rated yet | 0
(Medical Xpress)—Regulating the distribution of power in neurons is done by a system that makes the national electric grid look simple by comparison. Each neuron has several thousand mitochondria confined ...
12 hours ago | 4.8 / 5 (6) | 0 |
The British Menopause Society and Women's Health Concern have today released updated guidelines on Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) to provide clarity around the role of HRT, the benefits and the risks. The new guidelines ...
1 hour ago | not rated yet | 0
A brief visual task can predict IQ, according to a new study. This surprisingly simple exercise measures the brain's unconscious ability to filter out visual movement. The study shows that individuals whose ...
18 hours ago | 4.5 / 5 (10) | 1 |
Teams of highly respected Alzheimer's researchers failed to replicate what appeared to be breakthrough results for the treatment of this brain disease when they were published last year in the journal Science.
16 hours ago | 5 / 5 (1) | 2 |
Scientists at the National Institutes of Health report they have discovered in mouse studies that a small molecule released in the spinal cord triggers a process that is later experienced in the brain as ...
16 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |