Auto insurance

Young mindset differs on risky driving

Tuesday, October 14, 2014by  Jon Osterberg

Sometimes when I talk to high school classes about car insurance, a few students will complain that teenagers are unfairly scrutinized for their driving.
   If you’re a teen driver who feels that traffic cops target you, please know that another source is outing you: teen drivers themselves, and young adults.
   The Washington Traffic Safety Commission released a study in February based on surveys of drivers of all ages, from across Washington. A few findings stood out. Along with familiar stuff, like 18 to 24-year-old drivers using hand-held cell phones the most (you’re tired of hearing that, right?), I learned:

  • Male drivers 18-24 are less likely to think they’ll be ticketed for speeding. When asked, “If you’re driving 68 mph on a freeway posted for 60 mph, what are the chances you’ll get a ticket?” 10% of said “very unlikely.” Only 6% of all other men said the same.
  • Drivers 18-24 speed more often on neighborhood streets. When asked, “On a local road with a speed limit of 25 mph, how often do you drive faster than 30 mph?” 14% of 18-24 females and 18% of 18-24 males said “Always/usually.” That’s far more than all other age groups.
  • Male drivers 18-24 are less likely to think they’ll get ticketed for not buckling up. When asked, “What do you think the chances are of getting a ticket if you don't wear your seat belt?” 14% of 18-24 males said “very unlikely.” That’s more than all other age groups.

   The point being, rather than blame police for unfairly picking on youths, young drivers should look at driving mindsets and behavior. Data shows there are proportionately more young drivers being ticketed for risky driving than other groups.
   Check out the WTSC findings.

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