Flaura Winston, CBS TV, Teenage Crash Research

Flaura Winston, CBS TV, Teenage Crash Research

Study Uses Custom-Made Computerized Driving Simulator

A research project headed by LDI Senior Fellow Flaura Winston that uses an automobile simulator to study the most serious errors made by newly-licensed teenage drivers is the subject of a CBS TV report.

Winston, MD, PhD, is the Scientific Director of the Center for Injury Flaura Winston Research and Prevention at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP).

Critical errors
The Center's work has already documented that 75% of teenage car crashes are the result of the young drivers' critical errors. Car crashes are the leading cause of teenage deaths in the U.S.

"A lot of families confuse passing the license test with meaning that the teen is experienced and ready to go out on their own. But it's not true.," Winston told CBS.

Her project has set up a front seat and car controls with a wrap-around windshield of computer screens that can create real-time driving scenarios and monitor even the eye movements of teenage driving subjects.

Failure to anticipate dangers
Winston said one of the most frequent errors of new teenage drivers is to continuously look straight ahead rather than scan to the sides or far ahead to anticipate potential dangers. "For instance," she said, "when they're not scanning ahead, they may not realize that the road is curving."

Winston is also Director of the National Science Foundation Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies at CHOP and a Professor of Pediatrics at Penn's Perelman School of Medicine.