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Are Teens Aggressive Drivers?

New Study Finds Teens Are Neglecting Driving Basics, Becoming More Aggressive

A lot of attention has been placed on acknowledging the dangers of distracted driving, especially among the teen driving group. Even though this attention is warranted, a new study by Students Against Destructive Decisions (SADD) and Liberty Mutual Insurance has revealed teen drivers are neglecting even the most basic driving behaviors, such as obeying the speed limit and wearing their seatbelts, and are even practicing more aggressive driving behaviors without their parent’s knowledge.

Even though over 80 percent of teen drivers surveyed said they considered aggressive driving to be dangerous, more than one-third of those surveyed, about 36 percent, admit they have driven in an aggressive manner. This finding reveals a startling disconnect between what teens’ understand to be safe driving and what the reality of their driving is. What is even more alarming is that over 30 percent of the teens who were surveyed had admitted to experiencing road rage or retaliating against another driver in an aggressive manner, which can obviously create a dangerous environment for everyone on the road.

According to the National Highway and Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), aggressive driving is most easily defined as a single individual committing a combination of retaliatory driving or “road rage” actions while also committing a number of moving traffic offenses like going over the speed limit or cutting off other drivers on the road. Doing this is considered a criminal offense and new data shows these behaviors are prevalent in younger drivers and are often unnoticed by their parents.

It is important for parents to be more aware of their teen’s driving behavior, especially with the holiday and winter driving conditions already taking place – studies have shown that not only are teens driving more aggressively and ignoring driving basics, they are also breaking many traffic laws. Some examples of this are one in five teens saying they do not wear their seatbelt and even those teens who consider themselves “safe drivers” – almost 90 percent – a majority of them admit to speeding.

Those same teen drivers who consider themselves to be safe have also admitted to transporting a large number of passengers in their vehicle – 67 percent – and only 25 percent of those same teens believe having three or more passengers could lead to distracted driving. The NHTSA says the risk of a crash that is fatal increases in direct relation to the number of teenage passengers present in the vehicle.

We realize parent’s words often fall on deaf ears, especially if the teen has seen you drive aggressively. This is often a good time to schedule additional behind the wheel training with a professional instructor. Training Wheels, a Pomona Driving School, specializes in teaching new teen drivers safe driving habits. For more information or to schedule a lesson for your teen driver, please click here.

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