The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has released a study that shows younger women are far more likely to die than men in an equivalent car crash.
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A recent report has shown that younger drivers are more likely to fall asleep behind the wheel, as one in seven drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 have fallen asleep at least once while driving during the past year.
Although it’s no secret that most industrialized countries are experiencing ageing populations, which, related to motoring means the average age of drivers on the road is increasing year after year; a study from the University of Michigan has also found, that in many of these nations, younger people are also showing less interest in getting behind the wheel.
According to the study, conducted by the U of M’s Transportation Research Institute in Ann Arbor; in the US and other developed nations, notably Canada, Germany , Japan, Norway, South Korea, Sweden and the United Kingdom, a higher proportion of internet users led to corresponding lower amount of driver license applications. In the US, dropping application rates saw the ratio of drivers under 30 decrease to 22 percent of the motoring population by 2008; back in 1983 this group represented a third.
According to Michael Sivak, head of the Institute’s human factors group, the lower rate of license applications is “consistent with the hypothesis that access to virtual content through electronic means reduces the need for actual contact among young people.”
Rebecca Linland, an senior analyst with IHS Automotive, agrees with Sivak, stating that, “in every other generation, kids had to leave the house to see their friends and now you can do all that online,” she said. “A car is no longer required.”
However, Lindland does acknowledge that interests and needs change over time, thus as today’s youth grow older, shifting priorities will likely see them develop requirements for personal transportation down the road. That said, she still thinks the way in which young people today will perceive and use vehicles could very well be different that what we’ve witnessed over the last four or five generations. ”It’s the first time we’ve seen that and that’s why it’s a bit alarming,” she said.
[Source: Automotive News]
Just when an earlier study suggested that teenagers today prefer owning smartphones and electronic devices over owning a car, a local study by news channel Sacramento News10 revealed that there is a resurgence of manual transmission automobiles for young drivers.
Worried about teen drivers texting and driving, parents have started a trend of purchasing stick shift vehicles for their teens in hopes to keep them focused on the task at hand rather than diverting their attention away from the road. The DMV also provides useful stick shift tips for first time drivers including “don’t panic.” News10 started a discussion via Facebook on the resurgence of manual transmission vehicles and viewers have responded positively. One perk stick shift owners said they enjoyed was the better fuel efficiency their vehicle can achieve.
While manual transmission vehicles have remained popular in Europe and Asia, its market in North America has shrunk to approximately 5.5 percent, a number likely made up of mostly driving enthusiasts. If the appreciation of manual transmission vehicles are rekindled within younger drivers, then not only would more Americans pay attention when they are driving, but perhaps the joy of driving might be rediscovered as well. Show your support and join other drivers in the “hang up and drive” movement here at News10.net.
America’s five fastest roads have been ranked and surprisingly, the average driver’s need for speed has been dampened. American’s are traveling more slowly than they were a few years ago, likely due to rising gas prices and increased traffic enforcement.
The average speeder traveled 81 mph on America’s top ten fastest roads, which is down from 85 mph last year. The fastest road in the U.S is located on the northbound section of Arizona State Route 79, between Saguaro National Park and Phoenix. The top speed recorded on this section was 94 mph, and 5% of drivers use this road traveling an average of 88 mph, even though the speed limit is 75 mph.
With gas prices on the rise, people are driving more efficiently but the decline in average speed has also been linked to the struggling economy and high unemployment. High unemployment is keeping younger drivers off the road, and they generally engage in the riskiest behavior on roads.
The top five fastest roads include:
5. Arizona State Route 77
4. Eastbound MI-5 Michigan Highway
3. California State Route 73
2. Oklahoma State Highway 33
1. Northbound Arizona State Route 79
Parents of teens have enough to worry about. A new bill that creates a national standard for young drivers that’s being lobbied in the U.S. could help ease at least one of their concerns. The result would be one standardized national graduated driver licensing (GDL) system that would replace the varying state-to-state programs in effect now.
Right now, every state except North Dakota has a GDL for teens that includes three phrases. Restrictions for these young drivers under the new GDL include night time driving, limits on the number of teen passengers and a minimum age of 16 for getting a learner’s permit. As it stands now, 42 states allow learner permits before age 16.
Although some teens will make a stink about it, these types of programs are effective, and the numbers prove it. According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), states that have imposed tough restrictions on licensing have had crash reductions ranging from 10% to 30%. When Massachusetts put their GDL into effect three years ago, they saw fatalities for drivers younger than 18 fall to 75%, and injury crashes involving these drivers went down to 38%.
Dubbed the Safe Teen and Novice Driver Uniform Protection bill, one of the co-sponsors, Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn, says, “It’s a very important time of year. Kids are out for proms and graduation parties. A lot of kids start driving in the summer. The basic point is to put more standards in place for those first few years when they’re learning to drive.”
But not everybody agrees that this type of policy is the way to go. “I think doing this would be a horrible idea,” says Alex Koroknay-Palicz, executive director of the Alex Koroknay-Palicz. “Part of the beauty of our federal system is allowing states to be laboratories and having different policies and approaches to difficult problems.”
IIHS estimates that raising the minimum age for a learner’s permit would reduce crash fatalities of 15- to 17-year-olds by roughly 13%.
Do you think a national graduated driver licensing system is a good idea or just a buzz-kill for teens? Leave your comments below.