HealthWatch: Protecting New Drivers

distracted drivingSAN FRANCISCO, Cal. — Teenagers just getting their drivers license worry many parents.  Statistics show it’s with good reason.  Car crashes are the leading cause of death for young people.

The Journal of Adolescent Health published a series of articles aimed at helping reduce those deaths.

The reports include:

-training new drivers to improve attention control can overcome immaturity and driver inexperience

-those with the “greatest neural reactivity to social exclusion may be themost susceptible to risk taking while driving in the presence of peers.”

-the importance of parents being a good role model

One researcher says “common assumptions about adolescent driver distraction may not be entirely true, and that the association of passengers with distraction is more complex than previously realized.”

The final article indicates that when government agencies restrict cell phone use, the positive impact is likely limited.

You can read the entire Journal  of Adolescent Health about Teens and Driving.