Acceptance of and Engagement in Risky Driving Behaviors by Teenagers

By Sarkar, Sheila; Andreas, Marie | Adolescence, Winter 2004 | Go to article overview

Acceptance of and Engagement in Risky Driving Behaviors by Teenagers


Sarkar, Sheila, Andreas, Marie, Adolescence


INTRODUCTION

In the United States, teenagers drive less than other age groups except for the very oldest group, yet their number of accidents and fatalities is disproportionately high. The accident rate per mile for 16- to 19-year-olds is four times higher than among older drivers. The newest drivers are at the highest risk; the crash rate per mile is three times higher for 16-year-olds than for 18- to 19-year olds. The California Highway Patrol (2000) reported that in California 37,532 teenage drivers (between the ages of 16-19) were involved in accidents in the year 2000. Out of those, 22,862 were the fault of the teenage driver. Over 20% of all traffic deaths in the United States occurred when a teenager was driving; for teenage passenger fatalities 63% occurred when they were riding with another teenager (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 2001).

Adolescent drivers tend to engage in numerous risky behaviors including speeding which has been found to significantly correlate with a greater risk for accidents (Elander, West, & French, 1993). They are more likely to exhibit and report greater risk-taking such as following too closely, unsafe accelerations, and rapid lane changes (Jonah, 1986; 1990; Preusser, Ferguson, & Williams, 1988).

Teenagers' perceptions of their own skills and those of the drivers around them contribute to their risky behavior. Drivers who believe they are highly skilled are less likely to properly evaluate a risky situation. Young drivers in particular are much more likely to overestimate their skills (Finn & Bragg, 1986; Gregersen & Bjurulf, 1996).

It was also found that drivers of all ages who participate in one type of reckless driving were more likely to engage in other types (Evans & Wasielewski, 1982). Faster driving and tendency to commit traffic violations were correlated with increased crash risk (Elander, West, & French, 1993).

Lack of driving experience has been viewed as a major contributing factor in adolescent driving problems. However, Gregersen and Bjurulf (1996) examined a model in which other factors were shown to influence driver behavior, such as attitudes of others. Teenagers who socialize with others who display risky behaviors are more likely to engage in that type of behavior (Gerra et al., 1999; Jessor, Turbin, & Costa, 1997; West & Hall, 1997).

Gender Issues

Gender differences also play an important role in driving practices. Young males are more likely to overestimate their driving ability (Gregersen & Bjurulf, 1996), and this overconfidence has been shown to be correlated with increased risk-taking behavior involvement in accidents and violations (Elander, West, & French, 1993).

In the California Highway Patrol (2000) report, 317 males between the ages of 16-19 died in car crashes in California as compared to 155 females; 64% of the males were at fault, and 62% of the females. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (2001) reported that in the year 2000 in the United States, two out of every three teenagers killed in car accidents were male.

The Current Study

This study examined two groups of drivers: one that is just learning the rules of the road, and the other a group of newly licensed drivers who have already been caught breaking these rules--most within the first 12 months of obtaining a license. It is hoped that understanding how these teenagers think about driving, their assessment of risks, and to whom they are being exposed as passengers can contribute to a reduction in traffic accidents and violations.

METHOD

Participants

The first group consisted of 1,430 student-drivers enrolled in driver training programs throughout Southern California. These sources are designed to enable them to obtain the needed education and experience and get their driver's licenses. In California, teenagers under the age of 18 cannot get a license unless they have attended a driver training course. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Acceptance of and Engagement in Risky Driving Behaviors by Teenagers
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.