Yesterday the results from Driving-Tests.org were announced. Today, the objectives and analysis will be revealed.
First and foremost, parents will want to know the point of the study. It was conducted in order to get inside the minds of teenage drivers in an effort to better understand their perspective on driving safety.
There has been a recent surge in traffic fatalities amongst 16- and 17-year-old drivers. In fact statistics increased 19% during the first six months of 2012 according to preliminary data compiled by the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA). Due to such a substantial increase in teen deaths, the teens involved with the survey were asked what their primary safety concerns were. The results looked like this:
o 85% of teens identified texting, talking on a cellphone and driving under the influence were the three most dangerous things a person can do while driving,
o 50% of all teens surveyed indicated that fear - of being in an accident and of other drivers - is their primary safety concern.
Next came the question about why fewer teens are obtaining their driver’s license as has been revealed by the recent study by the University of Michigan. The survey indicated that only 28% of 16-year-olds had their license in 2010. This was an 18% decrease from 1983. The report revealed a couple of significant factors as to why the numbers are dropping off. First and foremost is the rise of social networking and the second has everything to do with the increased cost of driving due to higher gas prices. When the teens were asked about this, their results looked like this:
o 0% of teens surveyed cited cost or expense as a deterrent to driving;
o 15% of teens indicated that emotional pressure have left them feeling fearful about driving;
o 28% of teens indicated that they were struggling to grasp advanced driving skills such as operating a vehicle on a highway and/or being in close proximity to trucks, turning, and parallel parking.
Next, the survey considered texting as a safety hazard and wanted to know if the teens being surveyed still felt as if drinking and driving was still an issue. according to NHTSA, nearly one-third of drivers ages 15 to 20 who were killed in crashes had been drinking.
o While 79% of teens cited “texting” or “using a cell phone” as the most dangerous thing a person can do while driving a motor vehicle, only 9% of respondents identified drinking and driving as being a critical risk despite the evidence that over 22% of all teenage fatalities involved alcohol.
Male teens were asked if they thought differently about driving safety than female teens since the rate for male drivers and their passengers between the ages of 16 to 19 was almost two times that of their female counterparts. According to the CDC, amongst those males involved in the fatal crashes, 39% were speeding at the time of their crash and 25% of them had been drinking.
o When asked to identify the most difficult aspect of learning how to drive, 36% of male teenagers indicated that “passing the driving test” was the most challenging;
o On the other hand female teens placed a higher emphasis on “developing driving skills” (47%) such as learning road signs, navigating intersections, and parallel parking as the most difficult aspects of learning how to drive.
Since it is imperative that a child have a good role model in their parents, the survey looked into this aspect as well. Once the question was raised, a few eyebrows were raised by the example that some parents set.
o At least 56% of teens have observed parents texting or talking on their phones;
o 18% of teens cited interior distractions (applying makeup, smoking, adjusting controls, eating) - as limiting their parent’s ability to focus on the road.
o 12% of teens witnessed “dangerous driving habits” such as not wearing a seatbelt and driving with their knees.
o 8% of teens cited seeing their parents engage in aggressive driving.
Tomorrow we will conclude this vital information revealed in the Driving-Test.org survey by looking at the key takeaways, conclusions, and the survey results and the summation. With this information, parents of teens should get a good feel for the ins and outs of teen driving.