Novice Teenage Driver Cell Phone Use Prevalence

Novice teenage drivers have high crash rates due to inexperience; therefore, cell phone-related secondary task engagement (distracted driving) is likely to aggravate crash risk for this population. A previous study of teenage distracted driving behavior, found that 34% of 16-17- year-olds had texted, and 52% reported talking on a cell phone while driving (Madden & Lenhart, 2009). In the current study, data from the NEXT Generation Health Study were analyzed to estimate the prevalence of cell phone-related distracted driving in a nationally representative sample of U.S. eleventh grade students, the age when most teenagers are first eligible to receive a license to drive independently. Using the subsample of teenagers that reported having a license that allowed independent, driving (n = 881), the prevalence of cell phone-related distracted driving was estimated. Nationwide, four out of five (80.0%) teenage drivers reported making or receiving a call, and 72.0% reported sending or receiving a text message at least one day in the past 30 days. In addition, teenagers reported talking on 32.6% and texting on 40.3% of the days they drove. Access to a vehicle, the number of miles teenagers drove each day (the more driving the more phone use), and race/ethnicity (Asians had lower cell phone use than Whites, Hispanics, or African-Americans), were significantly associated with cell phone-related distracted driving. These findings indicate a higher prevalence of teenage cell phone use while driving than previous studies. More research is needed to understand predictors, safety outcomes, and prevention approaches for teenage distracted driving.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: References; Tables;
  • Pagination: pp 9-15
  • Monograph Title: Driving Assessment 2013: Proceedings of the 7th International Driving Symposium on Human Factors in Driver Assessment, Training, and Vehicle Design

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01493432
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780615819723
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Sep 11 2013 12:22PM