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Entries in Distractions (2)

Monday
Mar262012

Electronic Devices a Leading Distraction for Teen Drivers

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- When it comes to teenagers behind the wheel, the use of electronic devices — to text or to talk on a hands-free phone — is the No. 1 distracted-driving behavior, according to the findings of a new study from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

In the final phase of a three-part study that used data recorders in the cars of 50 North Carolina families with a novice teenage driver, researchers examined six months of video clips for each family.

A total of 52 drivers were recorded — 38 of whom had just received their licenses, and 14 teen siblings. In nearly 8,000 clips, electronic devices were used nearly 7 percent of the time, accounting for more than any other distracted-driving behavior,  such as adjusting controls, eating and drinking or turning around.

And girls were the worst offenders. In video clips, they used electronic devices 7.9 percent of the time, while boys clocked in at 4 percent. The time of day or day of week did not affect distracted-driving behavior.

The study also found that teenage drivers were three times more likely to take their eyes off the road when using these devices.

Carol Ronis, the foundation’s senior communications manager, said the study was important because car crashes remained the leading cause of death for teenagers in America. Teen car crashes are roughly four times higher than they are for adults.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Saturday
Nov132010

What's the Secret to Happiness? Living in the Moment, Study Says

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Does your mind have a tendency to wander? It happens to all of us. While we're doing one thing, we're thinking about something else. A new study from Harvard says our wandering minds make us unhappy.

The study’s authors contacted 2250 people at random moments throughout the day and asked them three questions.

1.  How are you feeling right now? (on a scale of 0 to 100)
2.  What are you doing right now?
3.  Are you thinking about something other than what you're doing?

Researchers found that people's minds were wandering 46.9 percent of the time and that people were less happy when their minds were wandering than when they were present and attentive.

Copyright 2010 ABC News Radio