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Distracted driving among adolescents: challenges and opportunities
  1. Annie A Garner1,
  2. Philip R Fine1,
  3. Crystal A Franklin1,
  4. Richard W Sattin2,3,
  5. Despina Stavrinos1
  1. 1University of Alabama at Birmingham University Transportation Center, Birmingham, Alabama, USA
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Georgia Health Sciences University, Augusta, Georgia, USA
  3. 3Society for Advancement of Violence and Injury Research, Washington, District of Columbia, USA
  1. Correspondence to Annie A Garner, University of Alabama at Birmingham University Transportation Center, CH-19 401, 1530 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham, AL 35294-2041, USA; aiartiga{at}

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With advancing technology, the distractions to which drivers are exposed continue to increase. Seventy-two percent of individuals 18 years or older in the USA who own a cellphone admitted to using it while driving.1 Of particular concern, only 28% of adolescents in the 9th through 11th grades in the USA responded that cellphone use while driving ‘made a lot of difference’ in driving safety.2 Distracted driving involves, however, more than cellphones and is defined as any activity that detracts from the primary task of driving; it falls under the broader category of driver inattention, encompassing other factors such as fatigue and heightened emotional states. The three main types of distraction include visual (taking one's eyes off the road), manual (taking one's hands off the wheel) and cognitive (taking one's mind away from the driving task).

One critical challenge with understanding and addressing …

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  • Funding This work was partly supported by the US Department of Transportation Research and Innovative Technology Administrative Award DTR06G0048. We would like to thank Dr Andrea Underhill and Dr. Russell Griffin for their thoughtful reviews.

  • Competing interests None to declare.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.