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Reality-based driving programs may reduce risky driving behavior

Oklahoma parents may not be aware that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car accidents are the leading cause of accidental deaths for teens in the United States. A study that was published in the journal Transportation Research, however, found that supplemental risk reduction programs could increase young and new motorists' awareness regarding the dangers of risky driving.

The study focused on the Texas Reality Education for Drivers program. The participants included 21 teen drivers who were referred to the program by a parent, community groups, a court or a school administrator. At the beginning of the RED program, the participants filled out a questionnaire that reported the most risky behaviors that were exhibited while driving. They then completed the six-hour program, which involved talks with nurses and other health care staff, videos and activities involving coming up with a safe driving plan.

After completing the the risk reduction program, the results supported the need for reality-based driving awareness programs. However, it was noted that only six of the participants completed the two-month follow-up survey. It was found that the parents of the participants were more likely to attempt to curb their children's risky driving behaviors by enforcing consequences and setting additional driving rules.

When teenagers cause car accidents as a result of risky driving behavior, other passengers and the occupants of other vehicles may suffer serious injuries as a result of the incident, requiring lengthy periods of expensive medical care and treatment. Victims might benefit from having legal assistance when seeking compensation for these and other losses.

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