Driving distracted

February 7th, 2014

Distracted driving is contagious, especially among teenagers, according to a medical literature review by JPS authors published this week in the International Journal of Injury Control and Safety Promotion.

“Social norms among peer groups are particularly important among younger drivers,” writes lead author Tiffany Overton, trauma research coordinator at JPS. “Research has shown that young drivers will continue” to talk and text on their cell phones while driving “when they believe that the behaviors are accepted among relevant others.”

Overall, however, age doesn’t matter. Research has found age and experience unrelated to the degree of cognitive distraction caused by cell phones. Older, more experienced drivers are no less impaired than teenagers when using their phones. Distractions caused by cell phones are cited as contributing to nearly one in every four fatal accidents among drivers ages 30 to 39.

Overton’s co-authors include Raj Gandhi, MD, PhD; Carrie Hecht, RN, TNS; Terry Rives, DrPH, MPH; and Shahid Shafi, MD, MPH.

The full article:
Distracted driving: prevalence, problems, and prevention 

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