Medical Minute: Teen Drivers

Updated: 04/21/2014 11:25 AM
Created: 04/21/2014 11:16 AM

More teens die from motor vehicle collisions than any other cause. Now, new research is hoping to give answers as to why and hopefully prevent these tragic accidents before they occur. ABC News Senior Medical Contributor Dr. Timothy Johnson has more in this Medical Minute.

Teens behind the wheel can be a potentially nerve-racking experience for any parent, and for good reason. Car crashes are the leading cause of death for these young people.

Now, researchers are looking into the reasons why teen drivers get into accidents, and it turns out talking and texting at the wheel are just two parts of the picture.

The studies are published in the Journal of Adolescent Health and they teased out several other factors that contribute to adolescents being more prone to mishaps while driving. True, distractions are part of the problem but other factors, like inexperience and immaturity also play a role.

One hazard: Teen drivers having their friends in the car with them. Teens also appear more likely to try doing other tasks while driving.

For parents, the message is clear. Tell your teen that while they are at the wheel, their attention should be nowhere else. It's a simple and important reminder any time your teen grabs the car keys and heads for the door.

Front Page

  • Three Attempted Murder Charges Filed Against Woman in Douglas Co. Shootout

    Twenty two-year old Jessica Gehl of Lake Nebagamon was charged with three counts of attempted first degree intentional murder Friday after she allegedly pulled a gun on her mother and then opened fire on authorities Wednesday. Gehl was also charged with first-degree recklessly endangering safety.

  • Reinert 'Strongly Considering' Running for Duluth Mayor

    When Duluth Mayor Don Ness announced earlier this month that he would not seek re-election, many people were surprised. On Friday, Sen. Roger Reinert said he is strongly considering entering the race.

  • Charge Against Woman in Arrest Video Dismissed

    A judge has dismissed a charge against a woman seen in a video of a controversial Superior arrest.  At a hearing Friday, Judge Kelly Thimm approved a motion to dismiss a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge against Natasha Lancour.

  • Justin's 2014-2015 Winter Prediction

    Winter is right around the corner and the question on everybody's mind is will we have a winter like last year.  With record stretches of cold and record snowfall last year is one we one like to forget. Chief meteorologist Justin Liles lets us know what we can expect this year

  • Woman in Douglas Co. Shootout was found Unresponsive in House Fire Day Before

    A 22-year-old Lake Nebagamon woman was hospitalized on Wednesday evening after an armed standoff with the Douglas County Sheriff's Office. On Tuesday, authorities say that same woman was found by her neighbors unresponsive and not breathing after they saw flames coming from a downtown Lake Nebagamon home.