Although drivers of all ages admit to engaging in distracted driving, teenagers are often at risk for the most severe injuries or the highest risk of fatalities. A new program designed to educate teens about distracted driving may help to raise awareness about the dangers of cellphone use, texting and even other distractions while behind the wheel, according to a recent study published in The Journal of Trauma Nursing. The risks of distracted driving are quite high, and yet it’s a behavior that has persisted across multiple age groups.

Currently teens are the least likely of all age groups to engage in healthy driving behaviors. However, the study showed that teenagers can have their behavior positively influenced as a result of a new ‘Get the Message’ Program. Approximately 900 teens were surveyed before and after completing the injury prevention program in a hospital. There were four different sections in the program including an introduction to the various kinds of distracted driving, a trauma center that depicts the typical journey for an injured patient, a video about the emotional, mental and physical trauma from a motor vehicle crash and a presentation from a survivor about a serious crash sustained as a teenager. The risks of distracted driving, among others, include the potential for accidents and injuries.

According to questionnaires completed by 900 teens in the program, their awareness of the risks of distracted driving was increased as a result. The percentage of teens who said they were unlikely to make a phone call while also driving a vehicle increased from 64% to 82% after viewing a video, for example. Having a conversation with your teenage children about the negative aspects of engaging in distracted driving could help to save someone’s life.