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This article studies risky driving of teenagers in the United States. Teenagers' number of accidents and fatalities are higher than older drivers except for the oldest group. The risky driving by teenagers is because they believe they have high skills (Gerra et al, 1999 & Jonah, 1986). Gender differences also affect behavior driving; male teenagers are usually susceptible to overestimate their own skills, so the number of accident of young male is more than young females. It also indicates on the methods used to bring this unfortunate but bitter truth to the limelight. The first participants are student drivers who are the first to be questioned from Southern Carolina are in training programs. The group consisted of 662 males and 721 females. The participation of the survey is purely voluntary. The second group is a group of teen drivers who had received a moving violation and were attending traffic school. This group consisted of 552 males, 291 females.
For both groups, attitudes concerning driving behaviors were covered in a series of questions. Participants were asked to rate six negative driving issues as to how dangerous they perceived them to be: speeding, drunk driving, sleepy driving, distracted diving, slow driving, and angry driving. Rating scores were on a 5-point like type scale, which ranged from least dangerous (1) to most dangerous (5). Participants were also asked to list what speed they felt was too slow on a freeway and what they considered speeding on a freeway. Exposure to risky driving was measured by a self-report of riding in a vehicle in which the driver was engaging in the following activities: drunk driving, drag racing, reckless driving, and taking of illegal drugs prior to driving. Traffic violators were also asked if they themselves had engaged in risky behavior. The participants of first group in the study were student drivers enrolled in driver training programs around Southern California. The second group consisted of the teenage drivers who have to attend a traffic school. The participants were given questionnaires about six negative driving behaviors such as driving, drunk driving, and sleepy driving. They were also asked what speed they felt was too slow and too fast bon a freeway. The questionnaires also asked about student drivers' exposure to risky driving and with whom.
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Results showed drunk driving was considered the greatest danger. Also, student drivers were exposed to drunk driving, drag racing, and reckless driving. Those exposed to a reckless driver were less likely to use their seatbelts. Females thought six reported dangerous behavior as more dangerous. Males believed their driving skills were better than females. In the second group most participants had to take the traffic course because they were speeding. These participants voted sleepy driving as most dangerous, and slow driving as least dangerous. Females rated drunk driving, sleepy driving, and angry driving more dangerous than males. Both groups reported their parents had mildly aggressive behaviors. Differences between two groups of student drivers and traffic violators is that non-drivers rated drunk driving, angry driving, sleepy driving more dangerous than the people in second group.
This study suggests that young non-drivers and traffic violators who are exposed to risky driving are likely to engage in risky driving themselves. The accidents happened to the drivers who have accepted risky driving behaviors. The participants who had received speeding violations usually got crashes later on. The authors tried to determine if understanding what teenager drivers thought about driving and risks could help reduce traffic accidents and violations. The data refuted the hypothesis; young drivers should do more work such as studying more time in class or taking home plans to complete with parents, so the safety will be increased. The survey also indicated that participants who reported being in a car with a drunk driver were more likely to have also ridden with a driver who was drag racing or driving carelessly. A comparison of means revealed that those participants exposed to drunk driving rated the behavior as lees risky, than those who had been exposed to a drunk driver. Participants who had been exposed to drunk driving also reported less seatbelt use.
II. Goals: Evaluation, Analysis
Pros: the experiment helps to reveal that, of all dangerous risking behaviors, drunk driving was considered the greatest danger, with sleepy driving, speeding, angry driving, distracted driving and slow driving in that order. This has really helped the teenagers to be cautioned against drinking while driving.
Another advantage of this experiment is that it sensitizes the community and the authority to put in place measures to curb this vice.
The experiment findings are a fact that the exposure to one kind of risky behavior is often associated with others.
It is also acts as an eye-opener that most of those people who violate traffic rules are in most cases likely to practice reckless and drunk driving.
It also sends a word of caution to drivers that, ignoring one danger puts a driver at a risk and that neglecting a number of rules of safe driving puts driver's life at a stake ( Sarkar et al, 2004).
Cons: although this experiment was carried out in real time in a real place the participants may not have provided the correct information that causes the increase of reckless driving by students. As a result, the experiment may think to be successful only for the authority and the society in question to realize that although they have done what there is to rectify the situation, things have not changed. This may lead to such experiments being rejected as irrelevant in future.
The worst traffic offenders could not be included in the sample. The reason being some serious violations may result in disallowing attendance at traffic school. That's why the study, in fact could not cover all the categories of the violators in the sample group called 'traffic violators'. This con may lead to the experiment losing trust in the eyes of the public and the society at large (Sarkar et al, 2004).
III. Goals: Synthesis, Creation
Is the gender approach to the problem needed? The experiment described in the article showed the presence of gender issues that cannot be ignored. E.g. Male representatives of both groups demonstrated higher confidence in their driving than female participants. It may signal about the higher level of self-confidence and, thus, greater desire to take risks. It being so, we've got one more factor contributing to unsafe driving. Moreover, the very attitude of male and female representatives toward the rating of the risk factors differs greatly. It means that both genders may be and are involved in different kinds of traffic violations associated with these differences. This leads us to gender psychology. I am convinced that providing experiments based on gender approach would give the clue to solving some problems mixed studies are not able to deal with. It is logical to assume that if the nature of traffic violation is different in cases of males and females, it would be reasonable to develop different strategies of dealing with this problem - one for each of the two genders (e.g. separate driver training programs). I suggest dividing the two already existing groups into male and female sectors (subgroups). In such a way, we'll have four sectors for analysis, each one showing the data that can be compared on the plane of having/not having driving experience and on the gender plane simultaneously. The whole method of testing (i.e. questions, etc.) remains the same. Independent variable in this experiment are old men and the dependent variable is the risk driving. (This experiment will hypothetically complement the data provided by the main study by showing how the old people are contributing to reckless driving. It will also draw a line between the efficiency of old drivers and teenage drivers).
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Is there a way to sensitize teenagers against reckless driving? Another experiment that I would suggest to be carried out is to determine whether there is a way of sensitizing the youths on the reckless driving that is increasing accidents on our roads. This will help to know whether the society and the authority is doing enough in attempt to bring the youths to the attention of dangerous driving. The questions will be based on whether the teenagers are aware of the risks they expose themselves to when they drive carelessly. It will also test on how serious the society is in this process alongside parents and the authority. Finally and most important the effective way out to ensure the whole process is a success. The scheme of testing this may just be the same. The dependent variable will be the careless driving while the independent variable will be the campaign. The survey will test on the best way out to bring the youths to the attention of careless driving.