Here are new facts about teenage drivers that may help to to target programs such as driver education and other efforts to reduce those critical errors and prevent crashes from happening.
Teen drivers get into serious accidents at a high rate because they fail to scan for possible hazards, go too fast for road conditions, or become distracted by something inside or outside their cars.
A recent study by The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and State Farm Insurance Companies hones in on the most common errors teen drivers make that lead to a serious crash.
Teen drivers are involved in fatal crashes at four times the rate of adults, according to the study, which was published in the journal, Accident Analysis and Prevention.
Researchers analyzed more than 800 crashes involving teen drivers and identified a few common “critical errors” that are often one of the last in a chain of events leading up to a crash. Seventy-five percent of these crashes were due a critical teen driver error, with three common errors accounting for nearly half of all serious crashes.
Among crashes with a teen driver error:
- Twenty-one percent occurred due to lack of scanning that is needed to detect and respond to hazards.
- Twenty-one percent occurred due to going too fast for road conditions, (for example, driving too fast to respond to others, or to successfully navigate a curve).
- Twenty percent occurred due to being distracted by something inside or outside the vehicle.
The researchers said that environmental conditions, such as poor weather, vehicle malfunction, aggressive driving, or physical impairments such as drowsy driving were not primary factors in most crashes.
“This study helps dispel the myth that most teen crashes are due to aggressive driving or thrill-seeking,” said Allison Curry, Ph.D., lead author and a researcher at The Children’s Hospital’s Center for Injury Research and Prevention. “Promoting safe driving skills is as important as preventing problem behaviors.”
Read more: http://www.insurancejournal.com/news/national/2011/04/11/194018.htm
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