Teen Driving Risks

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Texting and cell-phone use behind the wheel is a national epidemic, particularly for teenagers. Dr. Edward Hill discusses a report on teen driving that takes a closer look at the subject in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Teens have become safer drivers over the past 20 years, though now they have new distractions that put them at high risk on the road.

The Centers for Disease Control released its National Youth Risk Behavior Survey. The report lists many types of risky behaviors teens engage in, but this was the first time the federal health agency has collected statistics on the hazards of texting and emailing while behind the wheel. An estimated one in three teens reported texting or emailing while driving.

The vast majority of students now wear seat belts, and the number of teens who report either driving drunk or riding with a drunk driver has dropped dramatically. That has contributed to a 44 percent reduction in car-related teen deaths over the past decade.

However, car crashes still kill more teens each year than any other cause. According to the report, one in three teen deaths occurs on the road.

Distraction is a key contributor to these deaths with drivers under 20 at increased risk.

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