New insights into the detrimental effects of peer passengers on teen drivers

Abstract


This paper describes the results of a mixed methods approach to investigate the impact of peer social situations on teen drivers. Research has demonstrated that peer passengers have a detrimental effect on teen drivers, leading to a substantial increase in crash rates when teens are driving with passengers versus driving alone. Specific aspects of the driver and passenger, such as gender, may lead to increased or decreased crash risks. However, these data are often inconsistent, suggesting that additional variables are involved. We posit that teens lack the necessary experience managing complex social skills to adequately handle a peer passenger while driving. Further, evidence from interviews and surveys of teen drivers suggests that this may help to account for the dramatic increase in crash risk observed when a teen drives with multiple peer passengers.


LaVoie, N., Lee, Y.-C., Parker, J., & Winston, F. (2013). New insights into the detrimental effects of peer passengers on teen drivers. Paper presented at Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting. September, 2013.



 

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