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Study shows teen drivers may not understand risks of distraction

When it comes to driving, teens in Pennsylvania are at a bit of a disadvantage. As with any other skill, it takes time and practice to improve. With no more than a few years under their belts, it is certainly not surprising that many teens are not as road-savvy as adults.

A recent study, however, showed that many teens may be making the situation worse for themselves and others.

According to a recent article by NPR, a study conducted by an Oregon State University professor found that many teenagers do not understand what distracted driving means. Although campaigns against texting and driving seem to be working, many teens reported that they participate in other distractions behind the wheel.

Nearly 30 percent of teenagers who were surveyed said they change clothes — including shoes — while driving. Others try to finish up homework or apply makeup behind the wheel.

Unfortunately, the results of the study seem to indicate that teenagers do not understand the risks associated with any type of distracted driving — not just texting and driving. The professor who conducted study added that they may not understand that behaviors like changing the radio station or talking on the phone are considered distracting and can have very real — and life-threatening consequences.

The number one cause of car accidents in the United States today is distracted driving. Hopefully we can find a way to help young drivers better understand the risks of taking their eyes of the road.

Source: NPR, “Teens Say They Change Clothes And Do Homework While Driving,” Maanvi Singh, March 18, 2014

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