Teen Driving Distractions
Friday, August 21, 2009

It should come as no surprise but a study by Virginia researchers found that sending text messages and driving are a bad combination. Dr. Edward Hill discusses the conclusion of a study on teen driving distractions in todayís 60 Second Housecall.

Driving while text messaging or looking for songs on an MP3 player is even more hazardous than talking on a cell phone.

Virginia researchers put 21 teenagers through a series of simulated driving experiments.

Each teen sat in the driverís seat of a simulated car. They drove through the virtual scenes without distractions of any kind. Then they drove through the same scenes while text messaging, while talking on a cell phone and finally while operating an MP3 music player.

Their driving was worst when they were texting. Mistakes included slowing down dramatically and weaving more than a foot outside their simulated lane.

Each of the participants had at least six months of driving experience.

Texting while driving is a rapidly increasing problem. According to a recent study by the American Automobile Association, the risk of a car accident increases by 50 percent for people who text message while driving. A few states have banned texting while driving.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Iím Dr. Edward Hill.