Image of teen driver behind the wheel

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Many parents underestimate the dangers of teen driving—and how involved they should be to make it safer. That was the message of two national news stories that featured RSI researcher Nichole Morris of the HumanFIRST Laboratory. In March, Morris, who has conducted extensive research on teen driving, was interviewed for the New York Times and the NBC Today Show for stories on the subject.

For 16- and 17-year olds, the number of deaths from motor vehicle crashes outstrips those from suicide, cancer, or other types of accidents, Morris said in the Times article. “Cars have gotten safer, roads have gotten safer, but teen drivers have not,” she said. Among her recommendations: parents should do much more to supervise their teen’s driving, including asking questions and having them drive on different types of roads in varied conditions.

“Our studies show that the more the parent is involved when a teen is learning, the lower their chances are for a crash.”

In April, Morris presented on her teen driving research at the 2016 Lifesavers National Conference on Highway Safety Priorities, held in April in Long Beach, California. In a session titled “Talking to Teens about Distracted Driving in a Way that Makes a Difference,” Morris discussed findings from the Teen Driver Support System field operational test, which used a smartphone application to alert teens to their unsafe driving behaviors.

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