Study Challenges Common Approaches to Teen Driver Safety

Researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) have released the results of a new study investigating errors common to serious crashes involving teenage drivers.

The results showed that failing to scan for hazards, driving too fast for road conditions and becoming distracted were the most common of the “critical errors” identified by the CHOP.

Officials from the CHOP said the study challenges commonly held assumptions about the reasons that teenagers frequently get into accidents and that it provides insight into how to improve driver education and ultimately reduce the crash rate.

“This study helps dispel the myth that most teen crashes are due to aggressive driving or thrill-seeking,” said the lead author of the study, Allison Curry. “Promoting safe driving skills is as important as preventing problem behaviors.”

Co-authors of the report also noted the results suggest that more emphasis should be put on scanning the horizon while driving and being better able to respond to hazards.

A press release from the CHOP points out that “environmental conditions, such as poor weather, vehicle malfunction, aggressive driving, or physical impairments such as drowsy driving” — usual suspects in serious accidents — “were not primary factors in most crashes.”

The study was co-commissioned by the State Farm Insurance Companies.

Online Auto Insurance News asked State Farm media representative Vicki Harper about the insurance implications of the study.

“To the extent that these findings may ultimately help reduce the number of teen car crashes, it is possible in the long term that costs could go down for consumers and providers of auto insurance,” said Harper. “More importantly, however, by working to reduce the incidence of teen car crashes we would be helping to save young lives and make our roadways safer for everyone.”

Teens have been said to have a crash rate that is four times higher than older drivers, one of the main reasons that they are branded as a high risk car insurance group that has to pay significantly more for coverage when compared to other demographics.

The full report on the study can be found in the journal Accident Analysis and Prevention.

About Matthew Morisset
Matthew Morisset is a proud alumnus of the University of Redlands, where he obtained a degree in English Literature. Utilizing his passion for analysis and writing, Matthew looks for important trends in the auto insurance industry and their implications for consumers and the market as a whole.

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