Study prompts call for routine memory testing of teenagers.
A study of young drivers in the US has found those who did worse on tests for short term “working” memory were more likely to crash in the first few years after getting their licence.
The finding has prompted the authors, led by neuroscientist Elizabeth Walshe from the University of Pennsylvania, to call for routine memory testing of teens to weed out those not ready to take the wheel. They could instead be offered extra training.
The study comes on the back of a stark set of numbers. Statistics from the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention show vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death in US teens. Six teen drivers die on the roads each day with the cost of adolescents injured in crashes topping $US13 billion in 2016.
Having a callow youth at the helm is also bad news for other youngsters in the car. More than half of children aged eight to 17 who die in crashes are in cars driven by someone under 20.
The authors’ suspicion was that some teenage brains are just not up to the job.
Read the full story in Cosmos magazine here