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Risky driving puts P-platers at high danger of crash
Date:7/23/2009

Australia's largest study of young drivers has shown that risky driving habits are putting young drivers at a significantly increased risk of crashing, irrespective of their perceptions about road safety. The study surveyed 20,000 young drivers and examined their crashes reported to police. Young drivers involved in the study who said they undertook risky driving were 50% more likely to crash.

Previous research has confirmed risky, dangerous driving behaviour is more prevalent among younger drivers than older drivers. Researchers at The George Institute investigated the relationship between risky driving behaviour, risk perception and the risk of crash. They report that young drivers who had a poor risk perception or an inability to recognise driving risks were more likely to crash. However, those who did have a good understanding, but undertook risky driving behaviour when they were behind the wheel, still had a much greater likelihood of crashing.

"Our study shows that if young drivers engage in a range of risky driving behaviours, regardless of their perceptions, their crash risk escalates significantly. Risky driving behaviours included speeding, carrying multiple passengers, listening to loud music and text messaging while driving. The research evidence shows that these behaviours are significant contributors to road crashes, particularly among young drivers who are still building their road skills in the first year of driving", said report author, Associate Professor Rebecca Ivers at The George Institute.

"The key finding in our study was that we discovered the main contributor to crashes is actual behaviours when young drivers are behind the wheel not their perceptions or attitudes about safety", Associate Professor Ivers added.

Statistics show that young drivers are more likely to be injured or killed in car crashes than older drivers. Young drivers remain overrepresented in road traffic fatalities, showing tha
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Contact: Emma Orpilla
eorpilla@george.org.au
61-299-934-500
Research Australia
Source:Eurekalert

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