DES MOINES, Iowa — A study by the University of Pennsylvania has found teen drivers are more likely to be involved with speeding and using electronics, like cellphones, while driving.
The study monitored speeding as an issue around 40 percent of the time and using electronics was an issue around 30 percent of the time. In Des Moines one young driver said there is an even bigger problem.
“Starting, I wasn’t the best driver and I think that’s what the problem is, most people just passed (drivers education) with a decent passing grade and they’re not that good of drivers,” said Rayan Musa, a Roosevelt High School senior. “They’re just driving and their parents give them cars, and it’s just very irresponsible.”
“On a scale of one to ten I’d probably be like a 7.5,” said Xavier Bailey, a Roosevelt High School senior. “There have been times when I’m driving down the road I feel a little buzz in my pocket and I really want to take a look at it. I mean there’s been a few times where I checked it once or twice.”
The seniors said most of their friends are responsible drivers and don’t look at their phones much.
“I think out of all my friends, maybe like the only time they look at their phones, is when they’re skipping a song on the playlist or something.”
Dave Kopp, owner of the Drive With Cops Driving School in Urbandale, said in the six weeks he instructs students he hammers home the message – no electronics while driving.
“From day one to the graduation six weeks later we are hounding that they are not allowed to use any type of electronic device,” said Kopp. “They cannot use their cell phone and can’t use the GPS. They can’t use anything that’s an entertainment device.”
Kopp said the kids are so oriented towards new technology.
“Sometimes the technology isn’t for the better, it’s for the worst, especially when it comes to driving,” said Kopp. “Just got to leave the phone down and wait to get to where are you going then make that phone call or make that text. Just have to keep telling the kids over and over, don’t use it, and hopefully it sinks in.”