Adolescent Physiology and Effect on Driving

The following article was written by Don Berryhill, Ed.D., Ph.D. Dr. Berryhill specializes in sports medicine and has worked with NASA and with many notable universities.

The article describes physiological changes that teenagers undergo which have an effect on one’s ability to drive. It is written primarily to parents and guardians.

Physiological and Psychological Profile of the Young Driver

Driving is made up of a complex group of factors that continually influence perception, thinking, and motor skills. The driver must be constantly aware of the environment, processing and evaluating the environmental information, and developing appropriate responses. According to the Johns Hopkins University Study of 1955, a proficient driver must have mastery of performance skills in three major areas: the control of the vehicle (operational), maneuvering the vehicle (guidance), and planning (navigational), all three of which are subject to perception, thinking, and motor skills management. 

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