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What is risky driving?

Everyone has seen it: The driver speeding around a corner, the driver pulling out into traffic and nearly crashing and the driver who weaves in and out of traffic at rapid speeds. Risky drivers exist, and they aren't uncommon. Those who get injured as victims of a dangerous driver didn't do anything to deserve those injuries, and they are left fighting for insurance compensation to cover their medical costs and other financial losses. Risky driving can be said to be to blame in some cases.

Does risky driving really increase the risk of a crash, though?

For young people, the answer is yes. Younger drivers tend to take risks like speeding, driving too fast for the conditions, using a cellphone while driving and violating traffic rules. They are less experienced on the roads, and that leaves them open to making mistakes as well.

In addition to this, when a young driver has other passengers in the vehicle who could be distracting, the combination of distractions and risky behaviors can become dangerous or fatal. Studies have shown that young people are involved in crashes with fatalities by an overwhelming number; simply put, the younger drivers are over-represented, and that means they're getting into crashes far more than their older counterparts.

What helps reduce the risk to young or teen drivers?

So far, studies have shown that using graduated driver licensing can help. For instance, if a child starts to learn to drive at 15.5 years old with a parent in the car before obtaining a license at 16, that means the teen gets at least six months of training before taking a driving test. If at 16 the license still restricts certain activities, like carrying extra passengers, it gives the driver more time to get used to driving without others distracting him.

Source: Young Driver factbase, "Does risky driving behaviour increase young drivers’ risk of crashing?," accessed Aug. 02, 2016

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