How Do Teens Define Good and Safe Drivers?

Nearly 200 adolescents between 15-17 in six high schools across America were asked about their perceptions of a “good driver” and a “safe driver”  in a recently published study in Injury Prevention performed by researchers at Children’s Hospital in Philadelphia, F. K. Barg, S. Keddem, K R Ginsburg,  F K Winston. Overall teens defined a good driver and a safe driver as cautious, alert, responsible, does not speed, obeys the law, uses seatbelts and concentrate.

While the teens provided a collectively similar picture of what may might make someone a good driver, or a safe driver, different demographics had different views.  The safe driver characteristics “concentrates, patient, smart, and obeys signs.” Were only used by multiple females, but were not given by any male students. Multiple males also used terms that were not used by any females “courteous,  calm, takes their time, mirrors, and uses signals”

The difference in male and female views were said to be attributed by different cultural filters. Regardless of how they are getting the information, it seems like these teens do have a good understanding of some of the factors that make someone a good driver or a safe driver.  Studying their sources of information, and how they process these perceptions may be beneficial for convincing them that these behaviors are necessary, and to make sure they practice their beliefs so they themselves can become good drivers and safe drivers.