University of Texas at Austin

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Teens and pickup trucks–not such a good mix

Transportation expert Chandra Bhat and his daughter, Prerna, who just received her driver's license. Bhat and two of his graduate students have a new study on aggressive driving behavior and how it relates to the severity of injuries sustained during an accident.

Transportation expert Chandra Bhat and his daughter, Prerna, who just received her driver's license. Bhat and two of his graduate students have a new study on aggressive driving behavior and how it relates to the severity of injuries sustained during an accident.

Chandra Bhat, one of The University of Texas at Austin’s traffic authorities, has a new study on aggressive driving.

One finding: 16- and 17-year-old drivers behind the wheel of a pickup truck are 100 percent more likely to be severely injured during a crash than a teen of the same age driving a car.

The study is the first of its kind to examine how aggressive driving behavior—as well as other driving characteristics like time of day and number of passengers in a vehicle—relates to the severity of injuries sustained during a traffic accident.

Unlike previous studies in this field, this one gave considerable attention to small age variations in teenagers and found that the younger a driver is, the more likely he/she will drive aggressively and be involved in a serious crash.

Read Melissa Mixon’s story about the study and check out Bhat’s tips for the parents of teenage drivers at the Cockrell School of Engineering Web site.

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