Study: Teens driving with multiple passengers more likely to be distracted

January 25, 2012 12:00 AM

Two studies by The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and State Farm have zeroed in on the dangers associated with teen driving, especially when the teen is distracted by other passengers in the car.

Distracted driving is a big contributor to auto accidents, and unfortunately for high school socialites, it appears that having multiple passengers in the car directly contributes to being distracted on the road. Of the teens that were in distracted driving accidents, 71 percent of males and 47 percent of females put the blame on their friends as the source of the distraction.

"These studies help us understand the factors that may predispose teens to drive with multiple friends and how those passengers may contribute to crashes by distracting the driver and promoting risky driving behaviors, such as speeding, tailgating, or weaving," said study author Allison Curry, PhD, director of epidemiology at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention.

Parents can't control the behavior of their teen drivers, but they can ensure that their vehicle is as safe as possible. Regular auto maintenance can help alert owners to any car repairs that need addressing, which can in turn help make the vehicle safer for driving.

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