Reducing teen driver distraction: Parents play an important role

DeGroat, B., Zakrajsek, J. S., & Shope, J. T.
University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute

The objective of this study was to assess factors that may influence distracted driving among young drivers. The University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) and Toyota surveyed more than 2600 newly licensed drivers aged 16-18 as well as nearly 3000 parents of drivers in this same age group.

Preliminary findings from this national study indicated parents play a significant role in modeling risky behaviour on the road, and the behaviour of parents while driving influences the behaviour of teen drivers. In particular, cell phone use by teen drivers was similar to use by their parents, and texting while driving was pervasive. In addition, digital and social media were significant driving distractions. More research is need to establish what other factors may affect the development of road user behaviours among young and novice drivers to reduce the development of risky behaviours.

Reference
DeGroat, B., Zakrajsek, J. S., & Shope, J. T. (2012). Reducing teen driver distraction: parents play important role. UMTRI research review, 43(4), 1-2.