Tags: text | drive | teen | risk

Study Cites Texting, Driving Hazards

Tuesday, 01 May 2012 12:34 PM

A new study of teens – by teens – finds young drivers who use their cell phones to send and receive text messages behind the wheel pose significant hazards to themselves and others on the road.

The study, presented by a group of Oklahoma high school students at the Pediatric Academic Societies annual meeting in Boston, involved 30 students -- ages 15-19 years – more than half of whom had been driving less than a year.
Using simulators, the teens drove under three conditions: without a cell phone; texting with the phone hidden from view (a common practice in states where texting and driving is banned); and sending text messages with the phone in a more convenient position.
The simulators recorded unintentional lane shifts, speeding, crashes/near crashes and other driving infractions.
The teen researchers found study participants consistently drove worse when texting, regardless of whether the phone was hidden -- drifting out of lanes more often and experiencing more “near crashes” with other cars and pedestrians.
The number of driving infractions while texting was also higher, too (18 with the phone in a convenient position, 22 with phone hidden and five with no cell phone).
The teen researchers worked with faculty advisers from the University of Oklahoma School of Community Medicine. They said the study was prompted by suggestions that bans on texting while driving may actually lead to more crashes because drivers will conceal their cell phones, making it more dangerous to read and type messages. But the findings indicated young drivers make many mistakes regardless of whether phone is in view.
"These data demonstrate that there is no 'safe' or 'better' position that makes texting less dangerous," said Glade Inhofe, the high school student who is the lead author.

© HealthDay

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New research by teens of cell phone use on the road highlights significant dangers.
Tuesday, 01 May 2012 12:34 PM
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