Gender and age differences among teen drivers in fatal crashes

David I. Swedler, Stephen M. Bowman, Susan P. Baker

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

To identify age and gender differences among teen drivers in fatal crashes, we analyzed FARS data for 14,026crashes during 2007-2009. Compared with female teenagers, crashes of male teenagers were significantly more likely to involve BACs of 0.08% or more (21% vs. 12%), speeding (38% vs. 25%), reckless driving (17% vs. 14%), night driving (41% vs. 36%) and felony crashes (hit-and-run, homicide, or manslaughter) (8% vs. 6%) (all χ2 p<0.001). Conversely, crashes of female teenagers were more likely to involve right angle ("t-bone") crashes (23% vs. 17%). Some crash characteristics associated with males and known to play a major role in crash causation also are more common in the youngest teenagers; for example, crashes of drivers age 15 or 16 were more likely than crashes of older teens to involve speeding or reckless driving. Crashes of drivers with BACs of 0.08% or higher increased with age in both genders. Some age effects differed by gender: for example, the proportion of crashes of female teens that involved speeding dropped from 38%) to 22% between ages 15 and 19, while for males about 38% of crashes at each age involved speeding. The gender and age differences observed in teen drivers suggest opportunities for targeted driver training - for example, simulator training modules specifically tailored for male or female teenagers. Technology-based tools could also be developed to help parents to focus on the reckless driving tendencies of their sons. Insurance companies should consider ways to incentivize young males to drive more responsibly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)97-106
Number of pages10
JournalAnnals of Advances in Automotive Medicine
Volume56
StatePublished - Dec 1 2012
Event56th Annual Scientific Conference of the Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: Oct 14 2012Oct 17 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Safety, Risk, Reliability and Quality
  • Medicine(all)

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