M-CASTL 2008 synthesis report : volume 2, teen driver safety.

M-CASTL 2008 synthesis report : volume 2, teen driver safety.

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    Teen drivers have the highest crash rates of any age-group of drivers, with the possible exception of the very oldest drivers. Motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among teens. Not only are teen drivers more likely to be involved in crashes, they are also more likely than any age-group of drivers to carry passengers more often and in larger numbers. As a result, crash-related injury and death among teens occurs most often to teenage passengers of teen drivers. Many factors contribute to the high crash risk of teen drivers. The purpose of this report is to review these factors and provide a synopsis of current knowledge and understanding of teen driver safety. The objective of this synopsis is to identify high priority areas and directions for research to move the field of teen driver safety forward. To accomplish this objective, topics from the literature spanning the past decade relating to teen driver safety are reviewed with the intent, not of providing a comprehensive review of all literature in this field, but of presenting a representative review of current knowledge, limitations to that knowledge, and to identify high priority areas for research in teen driver safety. Following a review of the current state of knowledge in teen driver safety, areas for future research are discussed, including: continued efforts to enhance programs that are currently having a positive effect on teen driver safety, as well as to identify additional effective programs; increased understanding of parents’ attitudes and needs viz a viz the safety of their teenage children who drive; multi-disciplinary research to develop a driver education program that is effective in increasing teen driver safety; continued program development and evaluation research in the areas of teen drink/driving, safety belt use, and risks due to teenage passengers; and research to ensure that technology that is unsafe for teen drivers is identified and eliminated from the driving situation. All of these areas must be addressed with the backdrop of what is known about adolescent development, so that programs are designed to be developmentally appropriate.
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