A new multi-year study out of the University of Texas, Austin, has thoroughly investigated teen accident data to find which aspects of teen driving puts teens at the most risk.
The study found that the type of vehicle driven by a teenager figures into the likelihood of a serious accident. A common point of view in the past has been the bigger and bulkier the vehicle, the less likely teen drivers will be involved in a serious accident. But, it turns out that drivers of pickup trucks were twice as likely to be involved in a major accident as drivers of sedans, vans or SUVs.
The safest vehicle? The family van is least likely to be in an accident, but the driver of an SUV is less likely to be severely injured than the driver in any other type of vehicle.
Among other findings in the study:
• Morning rush hour turned out to be the most dangerous time for a teenager to be on the road.
• Sixteen-year-olds are found to be particularly at risk of serious crashes (34.5 per million miles) relative to 17-year-olds (20.2 per million miles) and 18-year-olds (13.8 per million miles.) For drivers in their 20s, this falls to 7.8 (per million miles.)
• One teenage passenger in a car driven by a fellow teen poses a greater risk than two or three teenage passengers.