Oregon State Study Shows New Distractions Teen Drivers Face


A new study by Oregon State University found that teenage drivers in the Northwest understand the message about the dangers of texting and driving, but they don’t recognize other activities that can cause them to lose focus on the road. Teens believe they are great at multi-tasking but when behind the wheel, it can be very unsafe. Almost one third of teenagers surveyed admitted they change their clothes and shoes while driving. Others stated they do their homework or change their contact lenses while behind the wheel.

Teens are typically cautious drivers when they are first learning to drive. However, once they obtain their license and are driving on their own, they quickly develop different driving habits that can sometimes be bad ones.

The study surveyed 1,400 teens from Oregon, Idaho and Washington and was published in the Journal of Transportation Safety & Security.

Educational programs about the dangers of texting and driving over the recent years showed a positive impact on the survey. The survey showed a smaller percentage of teens admitting to texting and driving than previous studies. It seems these presentations have helped teens identify different types of distracted driving, but this study shows some new distractions to focus future educational efforts on.