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As teens' dangerous driving behaviors come to light, most parents are in the dark

There's a saying related to the belief that with age and experience comes wisdom. This notion can definitely be debated, but one area where it does seem to apply is driving. Young drivers are much more likely to cause and be involved in traffic accidents. A recent study conducted by Liberty Mutual Insurance and Students Against Destructive Decisions found that too often, young and inexperienced drivers are engaging in driving behaviors that are dangerous and which put them at greater risk of suffering injury and death.

The study's results show that 36 percent of teen drivers consider themselves to be aggressive drivers with 31 percent admitting to retaliating against another driver or experiencing symptoms of road rage. The dangers of aggressive driving are well documented and are defined by the National Highway Traffic Administration as including speeding, tailgating, weaving in and out of traffic lanes and cutting off other drivers.

Speeding is one of the most dangerous, yet common driving behaviors that is readily associated with aggressive driving and one that 71 percent of teens who are self-proclaimed safe drivers engage. As Connecticut drivers brace for the impending winter months diminished daylight hours, decreased visibility and inclement weather are all factors that can make driving more challenging and that require drivers to adjust their behaviors. Teen drivers, however, again often lack the driving experience and know how to understand that they should slow down when encountering a curve in the road or slippery road conditions.

While parents have the most opportunities to positively influence their teen drivers' behavior, the study also reveals that a significant percentage of parents aren't aware that their teen drivers speed or drive aggressively. In fact only 16 percent of parents had knowledge of a teen's aggressive driving tendencies, while 38 percent admitted knowledge of a teen's speeding proving that parents would be wise to more closely monitor their teen's driving.

Source: Claims Journal, "Study Finds Teens Neglect Driving Basics, Engage in Aggressive Driving Behaviors," Dec. 7, 2015

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