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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Survey explores teen driving behavior in Central Valley, Los Angeles high schools


Teenage drivers, particularly new drivers, have higher crash rates than adults. We surveyed 2,144 teenage drivers in California about their driving practices, factors influencing driving behavior, and views on driver education and resources. Teens wanted updated driver education courses and more behind-the-wheel training while learning to drive. They identified parents as their most important resource when learning to drive and also reported that parents were less likely to enforce the rule prohibiting driving with teen passengers than other driving rules. Teens described behavior by teen passengers that distracted them while driving. The findings indicate that new drivers benefit greatly from graduated driver licensing laws.

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