Some Interesting Teenage Driving Research Done by the University of Texas Department of Transportation:

Now, when it comes to teenagers and automobile accidents, there are few facts that would surprise any California Car Accident Attorney.  Two common examples everyone knows with teenagers is that alcohol with teenagers can be a particularly deadly combination, and that distracted driving is a serious accident risk.

However a new recent study from a well-known research university has shed some light on an interesting teen accident statistic and automobile accidents involving trucks. The University of Texas’ new study shows that teenagers who drive specifically pickup trucks may actually be at a higher risk of auto accidents and injuries related to auto accidents than those driving a smaller passenger type vehicle.  The study was conducted by engineers at the Transportation Department at the University of Texas, and the results have been published in the journal of Accident Analysis and Prevention.  The study used data from accidents around the United States to determine the most common factors in aggressive driving among teenagers.  Aggressive driving is defined as deliberately unsafe driving behavior that includes cutting other cars off, anger issues while driving, driving at excessive speeds, and unsafe tailgating.  The engineer researchers were specifically looking at how such personal behaviors were impacted by other external factors, like:  1) the type of vehicle the teen driver was driving, 2) seat belt use, and, 3)  the time of the day.  While there were some results from the study that were to be expected, others have been a complete surprise.

For example, the researchers found that teen drivers who were driving with only one teenage passenger in the car were at a higher risk of being involved in an accident than those with more than one teenage passenger in the car.  In the past, several well-known studies have indicated that a teen driver’s risk of being involved in an auto accident increases proportionately with the number of teenage passengers in the car at the time of the accident.  However, this UT study seems to indicate otherwise.  This leads to the question as to why they came up with this result.  The engineer researchers have an explanation for this as follows: They believe this is likely because the teenage motorist may be under higher pressure to entertain the sole passenger in the car by talking to him instead of speaking to a group.  They may not be under as much social pressure when there are other teenage passengers who can entertain each other, without bothering the teenage driver.  This is certainly interesting to consider.

Another interesting result that emerged from the UT study was that teenagers who drove pickup trucks were actually at a higher risk of injury from an auto accident than those driving passenger type vehicles.  There is a plausible explanation for this research result as follows: Teenagers driving pickup trucks are more likely to show more aggressive driving behaviors, because of the powerful engine under the hood of their vehicle. Many teenagers, and adults identify their masculinity with the type of car they drive; of course, most of the time it is subconscious.  The problem is the combination of teenage hormones, and powerful vehicles can be sometimes be deadly.  

The interesting and surprising research did not stop here. The engineer researchers also found that most auto accidents involving teenage drivers occurred in the morning hours when the driver was on his way to school.  One reason for this is a teenager’s bio-rhythm may cause him to still feel sleepy in the first few hours after dawn, and this could contribute to those increased accidents in the early hours.  Another reason why a good breakfast may be important.Despite the surprising research results from the UT study, there were no surprises in the recommendations that the researchers have made to prevent teenage driving auto accidents.  More cooperation from parents, education, and limiting teen drivers to just one teenage passenger, and mandating refresher driving courses at the age of 18, can help prevent these accidents.

Mark C. Blane is a San Diego Child Injury/Accident Attorney and the managing lawyer of the Law Offices of Mark C. Blane, a San Diego, California Personal Injury Law Office dedicated to representing families of minor children injured due to the negligence of others. If you or a loved one, who is a minor child, has been injured or killed in a child accident in San Diego, please order your free copy of Mr. Blane's book, The 10 Secrets You Need To Know About Your Injury Case, BEFORE You Call A Lawyer. It is full of helpful information that will help you protect your legal rights and it normally sells for $16.95.  However, it is free to all California residents, or those injured in a California accident.



Mark Blane
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