Do teens drive their parents to distraction?

Edinburgh teenagers and parents sought for driving study

A lecturer from Heriot-Watt University is seeking teenagers and their guardians to take part in a research project investigating what effect teens have on their parents' driving abilities.

Dr Terry Lansdown, whose research focuses on distraction and its effect on driving, needs volunteers to take part in a simulated drive at the Heriot-Watt Edinburgh Campus.

Teens and their parents will take part in a simulated car journey with the parent as the driver and the teen as a passenger. They will be asked to talk about potentially contentious issues then have their emotional responses and behaviour recorded.

Dr Terry Lansdown commented: "Driving is the number one killer of young males in the UK*, and four out of five incidents involve driver inattention**.

"Finding out the specific circumstances that most distract parents while they are driving, will enable us to make behavioural recommendations avoiding certain behaviours while in the car, helping make the roads safer for everyone."  

Teenagers and parents / guardians interested in taking part should contact Dr Lansdown by email or visit his website. Volunteers will be offered £10 each as a token compensation for participating in the experiment.


**Dingus, T. A., Klauer, S. G., Neale, V. L., Petersen, A., Lee, S. E., Sudweeks, J., et al. (2006). The 100-Car Naturalistic Driving Study, Phase II - Results of the 100-Car Field Experiment. Washington DC, USA: NHTSA.

*WHO. (2011). Mobile phone use: a growing problem of driver distraction. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.