New Jersey’s teen motorists are new to state roadways, and they lack the experience that the state’s older drivers have. Experience, alone, heightens crash risks. Yet, so, too, does the fact that many of today’s new drivers are admitting to dangerous driving behaviors that threaten, not only themselves but everyone else they encounter on the road.
According to U.S. News and World Reports, a recent study on teen driving habits showed concerning information about how often teenage drivers are engaging in certain dangerous behind-the-wheel behaviors.
How often teens speed, text and otherwise drive dangerously
Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing used a cellphone app to help track the driving habits of 165 teenagers who were an average age of 17 and who had been driving for an average of eight months. A review of the app’s findings showed that teenagers were prone to speeding during 40% of the trips they made. Teen drivers also used handheld cellphones during an estimated 30% of their outings and engaged in both behaviors at the same time in about 5% of instances.
How often male teens drive dangerously compared to females
Data collected from the app used to track teen driving habits showed no tangible difference as far as how often male teens sped and texted behind the wheel compared to how often female teens did so. However, research revealed that male teens were more likely to engage in other risky driving behaviors, such as rapid acceleration or hard braking, than their female colleagues.
Safety advocates believe increasing education and ramping up enforcement of dangerous driving behaviors should help get these numbers moving in the opposite direction.