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Current knowledge on adolescent driver distraction

In: Journal of adolescent health. Vol. 5, issue 5, suppl. (May 2014), p. S1-S2.

Authors: C. Raymond Bingham

Motor vehicle collisions (crashes) are the leading cause of death to adolescents and are a major contributor to nonfatal injuries. There are many contributors to crash-related morbidity and mortality of adolescents, such as inexperience and lack of skills, immaturity, and distraction. Driver distraction is an important threat to the public health and safety of adolescent drivers, their passengers, and those with whom they share the public roadways. Currently, there is heightened awareness of driver distraction, motivated strongly by the media's interest in the effects on driving of using cell phones to talk or text; however, hand-held devices are only one source of driver distraction, and many other causes of this perennial threat to motor vehicle safety exist and need to be addressed. Therefore, this supplement of the Journal of Adolescent Health examines distraction among young drivers broadly, rather than focusing narrowly on one or two sources of distraction, and addresses the topic in a manner that is relevant to both researchers and practitioners dedicated to enhancing the health, safety, and well-being of adolescents.