Toyota, University of Michigan Conduct Teen Driver Distraction Study

Jason Siu
by Jason Siu

Toyota is teaming up with the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI) to conduct a major study of 5,600 teens and adults about distracted driving.

The study is based on a national telephone survey consisting of newly-licensed drivers between 16 and 18 years and parents of drivers in the same age group.

“Motor vehicle crashes remain the number one cause of death for teenagers, claiming more than 3,000 lives in the U.S. each year,” said Chuck Gulash, CSRC Director. “We are pleased the Teen Driver Distraction Study will help parents and teens understand their roles as driving mentors and mentees. We look forward to working with the world-class researchers at UMTRI to build upon the strong body of academic research that already exists and sharing our findings and recommendations with the public.”

A portion of the sample group are from the same household, representing one of the first studies to do so. It will examine teen attitudes towards distracted driving activities such as texting and driving in order to identify effective methods to keep teen drivers safe on the road.

More importantly, the study will examine the role parents have in driving behaviors, along with exploring the potential impact of any gaps between parent expectations about teen driving and what reality is for teens behind the wheel.

The Japanese automaker’s involvement with the study is headed by its Collaborative Safety Research Center (CSRC) which was launched at the beginning of last year with a five-year, $50 million commitment from Toyota. The CSRC works closely with North American universities, hospitals, research institutions, and more in order to continue developing safety technologies to make our roads safer.

Jason Siu
Jason Siu

Jason Siu began his career in automotive journalism in 2003 with Modified Magazine, a property previously held by VerticalScope. As the West Coast Editor, he played a pivotal role while also extending his expertise to Modified Luxury & Exotics and Modified Mustangs. Beyond his editorial work, Jason authored two notable Cartech books. His tenure at saw him immersed in the daily news cycle, yet his passion for hands-on evaluation led him to focus on testing and product reviews, offering well-rounded recommendations to AutoGuide readers. Currently, as the Content Director for VerticalScope, Jason spearheads the content strategy for an array of online publications, a role that has him at the helm of ensuring quality and consistency across the board.

More by Jason Siu

Join the conversation