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The effect of passengers on teen driver behavior : traffic tech.
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    A number of studies have shown that passengers substantially increase the risk of crashes for young, novice drivers. This increased risk may result from distractions that young passengers create for drivers. Alternatively, the presence of passengers may increase the likelihood of teenage drivers engaging in explicitly risky behaviors, for example, by actively encouraging the drivers to take risks. A better understanding of the nature of passengers’ influence on teenage driving will help develop strategies to reduce young drivers’ increased crash risks. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration analyzed data collected through an earlier naturalistic driving study (Goodwin, Foss, Margolis, & Waller, 2010). Over a six-month study period, event-based data recorders collected 24,085 driving clips, of which 4,466 were selected for analysis. Each clip included video, audio, and accelerometer data from a 20-second segment of driving. The coding system used to analyze the clips included detailed information about the vehicle occupants, and a number of verbal and nonverbal driving behaviors potentially related to the presence of passengers. The sample included 52 drivers: 38 newly licensed teens and 14 high-school-age siblings.
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