Study Detects Dangerous Driving Distraction: Women

Bertel Schmitt
by Bertel Schmitt

Distracted driving is very much in the news, and so far, cellphones were fingered as the culprits. Now, there is a study that finally identifies the biggest distraction: Passengers. A study by State Farm, published in the Journal of Adolescent Health goes to the bottom of what experts have known for long: Peer passengers increase driver crash risk, especially amongst adolescent drivers.

The study analyzed a nationally-representative sample of 677 teen drivers involved in serious crashes. Says study author Allison Curry, PhD, director of epidemiology at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention.:

“Both male and female teen drivers with peer passengers were more likely to be distracted just before a crash as compared to teens who crashed while driving alone. Among the teens who said they were distracted by something inside the vehicle before they crashed, 71 percent of males and 47 percent of females said they were distracted directly by the actions of their passengers.”

The researchers found males with passengers were almost six times more likely to perform an illegal maneuver and more than twice as likely to drive aggressively just before a crash, as compared to males driving alone. Females rarely drove aggressively prior to a crash, regardless of whether they had passengers in the car.

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6 of 23 comments
  • You've got a woman in the car nagging at you. Mom, Girlfriend, Wife, X wife, mistress, etc. Can't tell them to STFU and can't throw em out. Physical violence is not an option. Didn't work for Chris Brown - won't work for you either. Just gotta try and ignore them and keep your mind on the road. I've literally told women to STOP TALKING TO ME otherwise I'm gonna crash this thing.

  • Red60r Red60r on Jan 24, 2012

    In high school (late 1950's), I sometimes drove a group of friends to a bowling league. One member of our team was very rowdy in the car on the first trip. I told him to cool it or walk the rest of the way. Somehow, being ejected to the road shoulder a couple miles short of the venue caused a pleasant modification of his behavior, even if he was late for the first few frames. Seat belts? In a 1955 Belvedere wagon? Y'gotta be kidding!

  • Spike_in_Brisbane Spike_in_Brisbane on Jan 24, 2012

    In Queensland, your first year on the road has you wearing "P" plates and complying with some restrictions including 'no alcohol' (zero tolerance) and this one: Only one passenger under 21 years of age (excluding immediate family members) may travel with you between 11pm on a day and 5am on the next day. Section 74 of the Transport Operations see:

    • Wow - talk about OUT OF CONTROL GOVERNMENT and tyranical laws!!! What if I have a 20 year old girlfriend and I want to make out in the backseat of the car?

  • Boltar Boltar on Jan 25, 2012

    Well of course it's worse among adolescents. They haven't yet learned to just look straight ahead and ignore everyone like us grumpy middle aged guys do!

    • MrWhopee MrWhopee on Jan 25, 2012

      Well, perhaps us middle aged guys simply didn't get the appropriate distractions often enough, hence the statistics. Imagine if you have Scarlett Johansson (or whoever you think is really hot) in the passenger seats doing naughty things, then see if you can look straight ahead and ignore her!