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THURSDAY, Aug. 28, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- The types of vehicle crashes involving young drivers often vary by gender, a new study has found.
Researchers analyzed data from 2007 to 2011 for all crashes involving drivers between the ages of 16 and 24 in Kansas and found a number of differences between male and female drivers.
Young women were 66 percent more likely to wear a seat belt, 28 percent more likely to drive on a restricted license and they had more crashes at intersections and with pedestrians. They were also more likely to have crashes on weekdays.
Young men, on the other hand, had more crashes at night, more off-road crashes and were more likely to have crashes on weekends, according to the study published recently in the Journal of Safety Research.
"There are often different risk factors for young male and young female drivers because their behavior and attitudes are generally different," lead researcher Sunanda Dissanayake, a civil engineering professor at Kansas State University, said in a university news release.
"This may help explain why one gender is more likely to be involved in a certain type of crash. For example, young males may have more off-road crashes because this crash type is more frequently involved with speeding on rural roads -- a driving habit exhibited more by young males than young females," she added.
The findings could be used to develop educational materials specifically targeted at either young male or young female drivers, the researchers added.
-- Robert Preidt
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