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Teens and multitasking behind the wheel don't mix

Distracted driving is a major safety issue for Massachusetts' drivers. Teens are typically seen as the main culprits of distracted driving even though even more experienced and older drivers also drive distracted. While all drivers can succumb to distracted driving, a new study found that teen drivers are worse at multitasking behind the wheel and are more likely to be in a car accident compared to older drivers. 

A new study found that teen drivers start to multitask behind the wheel a few months after they start driving, increasing the chances of getting into a car crash. Dialing on a cellphone, eating, changing the radio and texting can all be very distracting behaviors. However, the study found that many new teen drivers start doing these tasks despite not having much experience behind the wheel. 

The study said that it takes thousands of hours to become an experienced driver and to be able to multitask while driving. Even experienced drivers who eat, dial on a cellphone or adjust the radio may become distracted and get into an accident. That finding that many new teen drivers exhibit these risky behaviors just months after getting their driver's license is troubling to say the least. 

The researchers said that the finding that teens multitask while driving could explain why teen drivers are involved in more car accidents compared to older drivers in the country. Trying to multitask while driving is very dangerous, especially for drivers who are looking away from the road to complete a task like texting on their cellphone. 

Teen drivers should be aware of the risks associated with multitasking behind the wheel. In fact, drivers of all ages should be aware of the dangers of distracted driving and multitasking as these behaviors can increase the chances of being in an accident. 

Source: NPR, "When Teen Drivers Multitask, They're Even Worse Than Adults," Mannvi Singh, Jan. 1, 2014

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