PERRYVILLE, MO (KFVS) - Your teen’s cell phone may not be the biggest distraction when behind the wheel.
You’ve heard the ads discouraging people from texting and driving, but now a new study from the University of North Carolina's Highway Safety Research Center said passengers in the car can be more distracting than a phone.
Perryville senior Dalton Buehler said he thinks the results are a little surprising.
"I don't have any problems with the friends being in the car," said Buehler
He said even if his friends are getting loud, he can still focus on the road.
"I can have my friends with me, I can tell them to shut up, I can't tell my phone to shut up," said Buehler.
Junior Maddie Steffens said she agrees with the study, saying people in the car can be distracting.
"I don't know if it's surprising because being a girl, all your friends are in the car you want to hear all the new gossip," said Steffens.
But she said in the past when they’ve talked distracted driving, it’s mostly referring to cell phones, not passengers.
"I don't ever think about passengers being my distraction, but bringing it up makes you realize passengers do have a lot to do with your driving," said Steffens.
Debbie Michel with Road Rules Driving School in Cape Girardeau said often times people think it’s rude to not look at someone when their passenger is talking to them, but she said it’s more important to keep your eyes on the road.
All of the Heartland states have a ban on texting and driving for young drivers, and all but Missouri have a ban on cell phone use in general for new drivers.
All of the Heartland states all have some sort of a restriction on the number of passengers allowed in the car for new drivers.
Some parents said they don't allow anyone else in the car with their teen driver, so he or she can focus on the road.