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Aggressive Teen Driving Study from University of Texas

17-year-old Prerma Bhat got her driver’s license by being calm and cautious behind the wheel. It was around this time that her dad, Chandra Bhat, a transportation engineering professor at UT, decided to conduct a study on aggressive driving, and how the time of day, number of passengers and other factors relate to it.

Here's what the study found:

  • Drivers are most aggressive during morning rush hour.

  • Younger teenagers drive more aggressively than older teens.

  • Young people are likely to drive aggressively until about age 20, when with other young people.

  • Teens driving a pick up are more likely to drive aggressively.

  • Not surprisingly, drinking and driving is the deadliest combo for teen drivers.

  • Regardless of a driver's age, they are more at-risk for an accident driving with a single passenger as opposed to a group of passengers.

The last one is particularly surprising, as most would think otherwise. As it would turn out, most drivers feel the need to reciprocate or be responsive when there’s only a single passenger, in contrast with having more than one, where the passengers would be able to engage themselves in conversation, and leave the driver focused on the driving.

Bhat says the study might be able to help fine tune and add restrictions in Graduated Driver's Licensing programs and help give parents peace of mind.

With the information he's gathered, it may be time to introduce a Parent-Teen driving contract, if there’s a teen driver at home. Here is a link to a FREE driving contract to sample.

For the study, Bhat used data collected from about 7000 crashes in the U.S. from 2005 through 2007. The researchers were also allowed to listen to crash updates via scanners, receiving data at the same time as first responders.


Learn more about the Facts Behind Teen Crashes

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