While we’re familiar with the dangerous habit of texting while driving, this research may surprise you. A new study reveals other risky behaviors teens are doing behind the wheel that need to be addressed.
According to a study at Oregon State University, 27% of teens admit to changing clothes or shoes will operating a vehicle. They also change contact lenses, put on make-up, and do homework. The most shocking part is probably the homework—it’s impossible to concentrate on an assignment and the road at the same time.
As for the stats about texting and driving, 40% admit to sending or checking texts from their phones. While this number is high, apparently it’s lower than previous studies. Sure, progress is great, but it shows work still needs to be done.
David Hurwitz, who led the study, pointed out that many teens are not aware of the risks of distracted driving, which can include anything from talking on the phone to adjusting a GPS. It’s also the leading cause of accidents among all drivers.
As a way to help teens understand the risks of distracted driving, researchers had participants multitask in other environments. One example was having the kids write numbers down on a chalkboard while having a phone conversation. This activity seemed to make the teens better understand how distracting multitasking can be, according to the researchers. They believe that teaching teens about distracted driving can be a solution to helping fix the problem.
Believe it or not, another study says that parents are partially responsible for teens’ distracted driving habit, since kids feel obligated to answer their parents’ calls or texts. This is why it’s important to remind young drivers that any other activities can wait until they get to their destination.
For more about teens and their well-being, check out Choices magazine! It’s a health resource published by Scholastic.