Home » Campus » Ohio State doctoral student finds two in five teens text while driving in new study

Ohio State doctoral student finds two in five teens text while driving in new study

The map, from Li’s paper, shows which states have higher rates of texting while driving. Credit: Courtesy of Li Li

An Ohio State doctoral student found in a recent study, published in the “Journal of Adolescent Health,” that two in five teenagers text while driving.

Li Li, the lead author of the study and a PhD candidate studying epidemiology — the study of incidence, distribution and possible control of diseases or other factors relating to health — examined individual- and state-level factors associated with dangerous driving behaviors among teenagers.

“Crashes are preventable,” Li said. “So, if we can do something to find those high risk populations and promote some interventions, we can gather information and decrease the rate of crash — reducing the number of deaths and reducing the injuries.”

The study looked at Youth Risk Behavior Survey data from 35 states and found that nearly two in every five teenage drivers, age 14 and older, have texted while driving at least once in the month prior to the survey collection.

The study was done in conjunction with researchers from The Research Institute at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, where Li’s adviser, Motao Zhu, is a principal investigator. Li acts as a graduate research associate at the hospital.

Zhu, senior author of the article, told Reuters Health the results make the case for stronger enforcement of laws on cellphone usage while driving and are also warning signs for parents.

“Texting while driving is severely under-enforced, so we don’t see many tickets for texting drivers,” Zhu said to Reuters. “The earlier teens start driving, the earlier they start texting while driving.”

Li said the permit age in the states makes a difference, with teenagers in states where they can begin driving at age 14 having a higher rate of texting while driving compared to those states where teenagers begin driving at 16.

“There’s a huge difference in each state,” Li said. “In some rural states, people will have a higher rate of texting and driving because the public transportation is lower, so most of those students, they need to drive on their own.”

Out of the 35 states examined, 34 have laws in place that ban the activity of texting while driving for ages 21 and younger. Montana is the one state from the data that does not have such a law.

“We are also interested in the law evaluation, such as texting bans or handheld bans — whether that’s effective in reducing distracted driving,” Li said.

Li requested the YRBS data from the participating states in order to get permission to use it for the study. She has since been involved in other research projects under Zhu’s supervision that involve partnerships with organizations such as the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

One project involves the incorporation of a cell phone app that blocks distractions while driving.

“The app will block their phones so you cannot be texting or calling, but you can still use GPS. Probably in the future, we want to do some kind of intervention program,” Li said.

Li’s study won Best Student Paper Award at the American Public Health Association annual meeting in November 2017, and she said it was exciting to receive the award from such a large conference.

“APHA is the largest public health conference. It’s good to present there and then get some comments and suggestions from peers and colleagues,” Li said. “It’s good to get feedback.”

Li also won the Injury Control and Emergency Health Services Presidents’ Road Safety Scholarship in 2017 and was named a 2018 Traffic Safety Scholar at the Lifesavers National Conference, hosted by Highway Safety Priorities.

“It’s given to graduate students and also some undergraduates who are focused on safety,” Li said. “So, there are people from different backgrounds of engineering, public health, psychological …all students who are doing safety.”


  1. “We are also interested in the law evaluation, such as texting bans or handheld bans — whether that’s effective in reducing distracted driving,” happy wheels game

  2. The nation from California toward the eastern United States. Farming and farming extended all through the state to address the issues of the pioneers marketing assignment writing service toward the start of the Gold Rush, there was no law in regards to property rights in the goldfields and an arrangement of staking claims was created.

  3. A Post-Doc ordinarily the two behaviors inquire about Essay Help for the most part under some level of supervision by a more settled researcher and completes a touch of showing accepting the Post-Doctoral cooperation is held at a college.

  4. I have been working for Canada express entry program and i want to say that it is actually one of the best ways to travel to another Country as it is very fast and reliable and secure as well. I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to travel to Canada. I have applied for it myself and the process was very easy indeed and my visa will reach me very soon. I hope every one who wants to travel to Canada would try this out. And if anyone wants to apply for it, let me know…

  5. My recommendation is based on the advice I acquired from my Ph.D. supervisor, my very own observations of my behavior and those of my colleagues, and trying out these conclusions by way of sharing them with others who’ve been through the manner. PhD Dissertation Help

  6. Yes, That’s right. By the way you can watch march madness 2019 live streaming online free from this website. Check and enjoy!

  7. A very true fact nowadays teen is doing text while driving a car this is very dangerous for them as well as for others there must be very strict rule must be implemented to stop this act, as a senior essay writer at Best Essay Writing Services UK I will definitely raise this issue in my upcoming article.

  8. This is a great article, with lots of information in it, These types of articles interest users in your site. Please continue to share more interesting articles! Thank you!
    happy wheels

  9. This is the best thing that you can do to make the best approach towards the final skill. I think it is the most effective thing you can do to capture these and bring in the most popular people. It is evident that there are several people out there who get the essay writers uk

  10. Thanks for all your information, Website is veThanks for all your information, Website is very nice and informative content.ry nice and informative content.

    pogo games

  11. This is a great inspiring article.I am pretty much pleased with your good work. You put really very helpful information sushi cat 2

  12. Thanks for all your information, Website is very nice and informative content

  13. I agree with your opinion .Hope you share many things.

    super fighters 2

  14. GPS is indispensable when driving, it is very convenient
    happy room

  15. a very detailed and meticulous lesson, it really has a lot of values, I will learn a lot thanks

  16. Utilize the professional custom and academic writing services offered by our company! Only exceptional professional and experienced writers, editors and proofreaders provide the custom academic writing, editing, proofreading and formatting services that you are in need of! More details here!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.