Injury Prevention.It’s no secret that teen drivers are prone to serious accidents: The study noted that in 2008, drivers aged 17 to 24 represented 22.3% of all road fatalities and were involved in 29.9% of crashes in which someone was fatally injured, even though the particular age group represented just 13% of licensed drivers in the country.Researchers are trying to find out exactly what teen drivers do to cause such serious crashes. Knowing that risky driving behavior generally contributes to car crashes, the study’s authors set out to determine what influences teens to engage in risky driving behaviors.Authors Birdie Scott-Parker, Barry Watson, Mark J. King and Melissa K. Hyde of the Queensland University of Technology’s Center for Accident Research and Road Safety in Australia found that a lot may rest on the driver’s state of mind.MethodologyGiven that psychological issues such as depression and anxiety often lead young people to engage in destructive practices, such as alcohol abuse, engaging in unprotected sex and cigarette smoking, the authors suspected that risky driving practices could fall into the same bucket.They used a survey of 1,284 drivers that measured psychological distress. It then asked the respondents to complete a survey about driving behaviors. People… Read full this story
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