Driving Distracted with Friends: Effect of Passengers and Driver Distraction on Young Drivers’ Behavior

Both passengers and driver distraction can have negative effects on young driver behavior. However, it is not known how these two concepts interact to influence driver behavior. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of passenger presence and driver distraction on young drivers’ behavior. Forty-eight participants aged 18–20 participated in a driving simulator study. Participants completed three distracting tasks (visual, cognitive, or combined) while navigating a highway scenario. Results indicated that passenger presence interacted with driver distraction to have an effect on elevated g-force events in curves. Separately, distraction affected driving performance differently according to whether the task was visual, cognitive or combined. Having a close friendship resulted in less speeding and male drivers tended to maintain a better lane position compared to females. The results have implications for licensing laws as well as intervention programs aimed at improving young driver behavior.


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  • Accession Number: 01715102
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Aug 21 2019 3:06PM