Teen Driver Safety Week – Let our experts help with your coverage!

Teen Driver Safety Week – Let our experts help with your coverage! Teen Driver Safety Week – Let our experts help with your coverage!

October 9, 20192 min read
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October 20 is the start of National Teen Driver Safety Week and Michigan State University’s Peter Savolainen is available to discuss his research on distracted drivers.


Savolainen, MSU Foundation Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, examines the fundamental nature of road user behavior, particularly how traffic safety and operations are influenced by behavior in consideration of roadway and traffic characteristics.


The charts below show how the rates of secondary task involvement and texting may be impacting safe driving among America’s youth.




Here’s what MSU’s experts found:


Approximately 60% of all trips involved engagement in some distracting behavior. This included a wide range of tasks, classified into more than 60 categories, which included cell phone use, eating/drinking, interacting with passengers, reaching for items in the vehicle and looking at objects external to the vehicle, among others, according to Savolainen.


“Cell phone use continues to be the most discussed distraction concern at the national level, and rates are consistently highest among the younger age groups, generally declining with age,” he said. “Interestingly, use rates are not quite as high among the youngest age group, which is partially reflective of the context under which these individuals drive.”


“Many of these are teenagers on graduated licenses. One troubling aspect here is that as these younger drivers age, it is possible that the overall rate of cell phone related distractions increases significantly over time,” Savolainen added.


Are you a journalist who is looking to discuss these findings or learn more about National Teen Driver Safety Week? Then let our experts help with your coverage.


Dr. Peter Savolainen is an MSU Foundation Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  His research examines the fundamental nature of road user behavior, particularly how traffic safety and operations are influenced by behavior in consideration of roadway and traffic characteristics. Dr. Savolainen is available to speak to media regarding this topic – simply click on his icon to arrange an interview.





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  • Peter Savolainen
    Peter Savolainen MSU Foundation Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering

    Peter Savolainen’s research examines the fundamental nature of road user behavior

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