Study Shows The Youngest Drivers Are The Most Aggressive

Teens are the most aggressive when driving pickup trucks.

A study from U-T Austin’s Center for Transportation Research shows that the most aggressive drivers are the ones who just got their licenses, and that’s 16-and-17-year-olds.

Researcher Dr. Chandra Bhat says some young drivers may have a sense of invincibility. They want to show off for their friends and they overestimate their driving skills.

Bhat says they also found that teens get the most aggressive when they’re driving a pickup truck.

“When you have a machine in your hands that has a lot of power, that can generate a lot of power, sensation seeking implies that you’re going to test that power.”  

But Bhat says when kids turn 18 driving skills start to improve.

“Human brains don’t develop in terms of decision making, mature, until the early twenties, and maybe there is progress along that path and that is helping.”

Along with monitoring their teens’ driving behavior, Bhat says parents need to establish clear guidelines as to what their kids can and can’t do behind the wheel.

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Gail Delaughter

Gail Delaughter

Transportation Reporter

From early-morning interviews with commuters to walks through muddy construction sites, Gail covers all aspects of getting around Houston. That includes walking, driving, cycling, taking the bus, and occasionally flying. Before she became transportation reporter in 2011, Gail hosted weekend programs for Houston Public Media. She's also covered courts in...

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