Slower Growth in Working Memory Linked to Teen Driving Crashes

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[Source” Science Daily]

Research into why adolescent drivers are involved in motor vehicle crashes, the leading cause of injury and death among 16- to 19-year-olds in the United States, has often focused on driving experience and skills. But a new study suggests that development of the adolescent brain — in particular, working memory — may play a critical role in whether a teenager is more likely to crash

The study finds that slower growth in the development of working memory is associated with motor vehicle crashes, which points to cognitive development screening as a potential new strategy for identifying and tailoring driving interventions for teens at high risk for crashes.

The study, led by researchers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania (APPC) and Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), is the first longitudinal study of working memory development in relation to vehicle crashes. The paper “Working Memory Development and Motor Vehicle Crashes in Young Drivers” was published today in JAMA Network Open.

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