Toyota, University of Michigan launch teen driver distraction study

Article by Christian A., on September 18, 2012

A study will be conducted by Toyota and the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute on the factors related to teen driver distraction. They have teamed up to study the driving behavior of parents and teens within the same family. The correspondents of this study include 5,600 teens and adults, comprised of drivers ages 16 to 18 who have recently received their licenses as well as parents of drivers who fall in the same age group.

The study will look more closely at teen attitudes toward risks that are often mentioned like texting and driving. How the parents influence these attitudes would also be studied. The results of this study will be periodically divulged as they are verified and finalized. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration said that in 2010, over 3,000 people died due to distracted driving.

Toyota’s Collaborative Safety Research Center is heading the study. It was launched in 2011 with Toyota making the commitment for a 5-year contract that costs $50 million. "Motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of death for teenagers, claiming more than 3,000 lives in the U.S. each year," said Chuck Gulash, CSRC Director.  "We are pleased the Teen Driver Distraction Study will help parents and teens understand their roles as driving mentors and mentees.  We look forward to working with the world-class researchers at UMTRI to build upon the strong body of academic research that already exists and sharing our findings and recommendations with the public."

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