- Study published in April issue of Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience
- Involved 25 teenagers completing a driving simulation with 26 intersections
- Teen drivers completed course once alone and once with mothers watching
- When mothers were watching, teens were 10 percent less likely to engage in risky behavior
One recent study involving driving simulations took a look at risk-taking behaviors in teen drivers under certain circumstances, including having their mothers observe their driving at certain times. The teen drivers who took part in the driving simulation test went through the course not just once, but twice. One of the times they drove through the simulation alone and the second time they participated while their mothers were watching. Unsurprisingly to many, teens showed a lower tendency to engage in risky driving behaviors that could lead to car crashes when observed by their mothers.
The study’s lead author is a professor of psychology at the University of Illinois, and the study was published in an April issue of the Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience journal. The lead author stated that the study’s results seem to shore up the authors’ beliefs that parents certainly play a pivotal role in helping their children make safer choices when behind the wheel. She referred to this as an “important scaffolding role” in a recent news report.
The study centered on 25 teenagers participating in the driving simulation as quickly as they were able, all while being encouraged to indulge in risky behaviors. The driving course included 26 intersections and involved instances of the teens having to decide whether to run yellow lights or stop and wait. Stopping for yellow lights would delay the students’ time scores by three seconds; whereas running the yellow light would affect their score the least—but only if they didn’t crash. Crashes led to six-second penalties being applied to the teens’ times.
When the students completed the course alone, they tended to speed through yellow lights at a rate of approximately 55 percent. That percentage dropped by 10 percent whenever a teen’s mom was present. This is a significant decrease in risk-taking behaviors on the part of those students. This could suggest that those who spend some time driving under the watchful eyes of their parents may lean toward less risky behavior when behind the wheel, whether alone or with their parents.
This is welcome news when considering the fact that teen drivers have a statistical reputation for being among the riskiest drivers on the nation’s roads. In fact, drivers who are between the ages of 16 and 19 are just about three times more likely to be involved in a deadly car crash than those who are 20 or older. Statistics suggest that this could be due in part to the fact teens are less inclined to buckle their seat belts and are also far more likely to underestimate the hazards of a situation, often leading to their choosing to speed in unsafe conditions.
While this study of teen drivers reveals interesting information that could be helpful in increasing safety among young drivers, it doesn’t save those who have already been involved in car crashes. Missouri and Illinois personal injury laws provide those who have been injured in such crashes the chance to seek financial reimbursement in a civil court. This could lead to the award of medical and other relevant expenses. Please call us at 1-888-586-7041 to request further details regarding your rights under these laws. We stand ready to help you pursue the financial restitution that you deserve.
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