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Teen driving distractions: far more than just cellphones

When it comes to preventing teens from driving while distracted, a lot of focus goes towards keeping teens off their phones while driving. However, it is important to not forget that cellphones do not have a monopoly when it comes to distracting teen drivers; there are many different distracting activities teens may be tempted to do when behind the wheel.

A recent study illustrates how wide of a range of forms distracted driving can take among teens. In the study, a group of teens was given a survey asking what sorts of things they do while driving. Unsurprisingly, some of the teens said that they had texted while driving. Some of the other answers the teens gave to the survey, however, people may find a bit more surprising. Included among the things that some of the surveyed teens said they had done while driving are:

  • Change clothes and shoes.
  • Work on their homework. 
  • Apply makeup.
  • Change contact lenses.

It appears that some of these less-focused-on distracted driving behaviors are rather common among teen drivers. In the survey, 27 percent of the surveyed teens said that changing clothes and shoes was something they had done while driving. 

What reactions do you have to this survey's findings? How big of a problem do you think dangerous multitasking is among teen drivers generally? How about here in California? Do you think enough is currently being done to make teens aware of the dangers non-cellphone-related distractions can pose when driving? If not, what sorts of things would you like to see done to promote such awareness?

Any type of distracted behavior behind the wheel has the potential to be harmful, and all drivers, teens and adults alike, should make sure to not engage in any distracting activities while driving.

Individuals injured in an auto accident that came about because a driver was distracted may be entitled to compensation.

Source: NPR, "Teens Say They Change Clothes And Do Homework While Driving," Maanvi Singh, March 18, 2015

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