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Ann Adv Automot Med. 2012;56:97-106.

Gender and Age Differences among Teen Drivers in Fatal Crashes.

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  • 1Center for Injury Research and Policy, Bloomberg School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins University.


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 χ(2) 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.

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