Distracted Teen Drivers

Which part of the car plays a big role in teenage crashes? The answer is the passenger seat.

Teenagers don’t have much experience driving, but they may have a lot of distractions while they’re behind the wheel.

In a new study, researchers took a close look at 677 teen drivers aged 16-18 who had been in serious crashes to see what was happening before the accident. Among guys, drivers who had passengers near their own age in the car were more than twice as likely to be driving aggressively just before the crash. They were also six times more likely to pull an illegal move before crashing.

Female drivers, on the other hand, usually weren’t driving aggressively or illegally before their crash. However, if they had a passenger, they were nearly 4 times more likely to be distracted by activities inside the car before the accident.

Parents can download an agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website for their teen drivers to sign.

In it, the driver pledges to:
• Have everyone wear a seatbelt
• Not try to impress others with reckless driving
• Obey the speed limit and traffic signs

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