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Developmental sources of crash risk in young drivers
  1. J J Arnett
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J J Arnett, 4409 Van Buren Street, University Park, MD 20782, USA;
 arnett{at}wam.umd.edu

Abstract

Objective: To outline various sources of crash risk among young drivers that are developmental (age based) factors.

Methods and Results: First, a distinction is made between adolescence (ages 10–18) and emerging adulthood (ages 18–25) in order to shed light on the reasons for especially high crash rates among 16–17 year old drivers relative to 18–25 year olds. Then various developmental sources of risk in adolescence are described, including the power of friends, the optimistic bias, and adolescent emotionality. The reasons for especially high crash rates among young males are discussed, with an emphasis on how American ideas about manhood promote driving risks. Finally, a cross national comparison between adolescents in the United States and Denmark shows how developmental risks interact with driving policies.

Conclusions: The high crash rates of adolescents relative to emerging adults and of emerging adults relative to older drivers can be explained in part by developmental factors.

  • adolescent development
  • gender differences
  • driving crash risk
  • ESM, experience sampling method
  • FARS, Fatality Analysis Reporting System
  • MPH, miles per hour
  • adolescent development
  • gender differences
  • driving crash risk
  • ESM, experience sampling method
  • FARS, Fatality Analysis Reporting System
  • MPH, miles per hour
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