Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death and injury to teenagers. Crash risks result from their age, inexperience, and risky driving. The purpose of this study was to determine whether parent-imposed delayed licensure and restricted driving are related to fewer teenage risky driving behaviors. At baseline, 275 teenagers with a learner's permit and one of their parents were interviewed about driving attitudes and teenage behaviors. One year later, 161 of the teenagers had since obtained a provisional license and were reinterviewed about time of licensure, parental restrictions on driving, and driving attitudes and behaviors. The results indicated that parents delayed licensure until teens were “ready,” and limited their driving in terms of trip and risk conditions. Higher levels of risky driving behaviors were predicted by younger ages at licensure and fewer limits on driving in the first month, in addition to male gender, higher conflict over driving, lower perceptions of dangers related to driving, more problem behaviors at baseline, and more high-risk driving (e.g., at night, teenage passengers). Overall, the results indicate that a combination of being older at licensure and restricting driving under high-risk conditions at licensure may be an effective way to curb teens' risky driving behaviors.
Prevention Science – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 10, 2004
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