Unsafe Driving Behaviors to Watch for with Your Teen
Published: Thursday, October 11, 2007
Because teen driving crashes are such a problem nationally, research organizations (often sponsored by insurance companies) conduct studies to determine the underlying cause of crashes. One recent study caught our attention -- and points out that we may not always know exactly what our teens do when they're alone in the car. The study was published in September, 2006 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and their partner organization, National Organization for Youth Safety.
The study team held a total of 16 focus groups with boys and girls between 16 and 18 from four cities -- Atlanta, GA, Fort Lee, NJ, Minneapolis, MN and Seattle, WA. The goal of the study was to document the kind of driving behaviors average teens engage in, and then to learn what kind of public messaging would be effective in alerting teens to the risks involved. You can read (or download the entire 92-page study as a PDF) by clicking Teen Unsafe Driving Behaviors: Focus Group Final Report.
Following are a few of the surprising comments taken verbatim from the study report (with emphasis added):
When asked what might cause teenage boys to change their risky driving behaviors, several boys replied that they...
When these boys were asked what scares them most about being responsible for a serious crash, they mentioned these fears:
Girls reported other fears:
One girl reported that she does not see anything [about her driving behavior] changing if she had a bad crash, unless maybe she killed someone. Her parents are not going to take her car away because "they are not about to start driving me around again."
Read the entire report here.
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