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J Safety Res. 2008;39(4):437-43. doi: 10.1016/j.jsr.2008.03.003. Epub 2008 Aug 8.

Passenger distractions among adolescent drivers.

Author information

1
Department of Human and Community Development, 4-H Center for Youth Development, University of California, Davis, 1 Shields Ave., Davis, CA 95616, USA. keheck@ucdavis.edu

Abstract

PROBLEM:

Adolescents who drive with peers are known to have a higher risk of crashes. While passengers may distract drivers, little is known about the circumstances of these distractions among teen drivers.

METHOD:

This study used survey data on driving among 2,144 California high school seniors to examine distractions caused by passengers.

RESULTS:

Overall, 38.4% of youths who drove reported having been distracted by a passenger. Distractions were more commonly reported among girls and students attending moderate- to high-income schools. Talking or yelling was the most commonly reported type of distraction. About 7.5% of distractions reported were deliberate, such as hitting or tickling the driver or attempting to use the vehicle's controls. Driving after alcohol use and having had a crash as a driver were both significant predictors of reporting passenger-related distraction.

CONCLUSION:

Adolescents often experience distractions related to passengers, and in some cases these distractions are intentional.

IMPACT ON INDUSTRY:

These results provide information about teenage drivers who are distracted by passenger behaviors. In some cases, passengers attempted to use vehicle controls; however, it seems unlikely that this behavior is common enough to warrant redesign of controls to make them less accessible to passengers.

PMID:
18786432
DOI:
10.1016/j.jsr.2008.03.003
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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