Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Teen passengers: 'The other distraction' for teen drivers

Date:
January 24, 2012
Source:
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia
Summary:
New studies describe which teens are likely to drive with multiple friends, and how these passengers may affect teen drivers right before a crash.

A pair of studies by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and State Farmฎ 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 recently published 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."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Allison E. Curry, Jessica H. Mirman, Michael J. Kallan, Flaura K. Winston, et al. Peer Passengers: How Do They Affect Teen Crashes? Journal of Adolescent Health, 2012 DOI: 10.1016/j.jadohealth.2011.10.016

Cite This Page:

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Teen passengers: 'The other distraction' for teen drivers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120124092532.htm>.
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. (2012, January 24). Teen passengers: 'The other distraction' for teen drivers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120124092532.htm
Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. "Teen passengers: 'The other distraction' for teen drivers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120124092532.htm (accessed August 21, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins