Drivers take their eyes off the road about 10% of the time while texting or engaging in tasks secondary to driving, and newly licensed teens are at greatest risk for distracted driving, according to a study by the National Institutes of Health and Virginia Tech.

The study, which used video technology and in-vehicle sensors, also showed that teens were significantly more likely than adults to be involved in a crash or near miss.

“Anything that takes a driver’s eyes off the road can be dangerous,” said study co-author Bruce Simons-Morton, Ed.D., M.P.H., of the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. “But our study shows these distracting practices are especially risky for novice drivers, who haven’t developed sound safety judgment behind the wheel.”

The study, which looked at drivers in the Washington, D.C., area and in southwestern Virginia, was published in the New England Journal of...

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