Transportation & Vehicle Safety Policy

Special considerations in distracted driving with teens.

Durbin, D.R.; McGehee, D.V.; Fisher, D.; McCartt, A.
2014

Abstract

Novice teen drivers have long been known to have an increased risk of crashing, as well as increased tendencies toward unsafe and risky driving behaviors. Teens are unique as drivers for several reasons, many of which have implications specifically in the area of distracted driving. This paper reviews several of these features, including the widespread prevalence of mobile device use by teens, their lack of driving experience, the influence of peer passengers as a source of distraction, the role of parents in influencing teens' attitudes and behaviors relevant to distracted driving and the impact of laws designed to prevent mobile device use by teen drivers. Recommendations for future research include understanding how engagement in a variety of secondary tasks by teen drivers affects their driving performance or crash risk; understanding the respective roles of parents, peers and technology in influencing teen driver behavior; and evaluating the impact of public policy on mitigating teen crash risk related to driver distraction.