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Driver distraction: A perennial but preventable public health threat to adolescents

In: Journal of adolescent health. Vol. 54, issue 5, suppl. (May 2014), p. S3-S5.

Authors: C. Raymond Bingham

Although public health efforts have made some progress in reducing risk of adolescent motor vehicle crashes over the last three decades, new technologies and evolving behavior patterns have focused attention on the risk of distracted driving. For many of the same reasons that alcohol-impaired driving represents a distinct risk for adolescents, distracted driving has an elevated impact on this age group. Similarly, many of the strategies used to reduce alcohol-impaired driving among adolescents might be applied to driver distraction, including adults serving as role models with high standards of behavior. The unique challenge posed by the proliferation of new technological distractions may accelerate this risk behavior and may lend itself to innovative prevention efforts.