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 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,” finds 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.
“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,” says lead author Catherine McDonald, the Dr. Hildegarde Reynolds Endowed Term Professor of Primary Care Nursing, vice-chair of the Department of Family and Community Health at Penn Nursing, and co-director of the PENN Injury Science Center.
“Given the rapidly changing technology in the daily life of adolescents, this study also builds on previous research and helps to identify patterns related to cellphone use while driving among adolescents,” says McDonald. “Behavioral variations in this sample highlight opportunities for targeted interventions on risky driving.”
Read more at Penn Nursing News.