The Observed Effects of Teenage Passengers on the Risky Driving Behavior of Teenage Drivers

This article describes a study in which the researchers investigated the effect on two measures of risky driving in the presence of young male and female passengers. Vehicles were observed exiting from parking lots at ten high schools at dismissal time, and the occupants were identified by gender and age (teen or adult). Vehicle speed and headway of passing traffic were recorded from a nearby site using video and LIDAR (light detection and ranging) technology. Teenage drivers drove faster than the general traffic and allowed shorter headways, particularly when driving with a male teenage passenger. Both male and female teenage drivers allowed shorter headways (relative to no passenger or a female passenger) in the presence of a male teenage passenger. The presence of a female teenage passenger resulted in longer headways for male teenage drivers. The observed rate of high risk driving for the teen male driver/male passenger condition was nearly double that of general traffic. This study shows the frequency and magnitude of risky driving behavior among teenage drivers, demonstrating that the presence of male teenage passengers does correspond to with risky driving behavior among teenage drivers.


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  • Accession Number: 01013463
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS, ATRI
  • Created Date: Dec 5 2005 3:33PM