Teenage drivers may not be the accelerator-mashing menaces they’re made out to be.

A recent study by the University of California at Los Angeles found that many teens fared better behind the wheel than older motorists, even when navigating some of the state’s worst roads.

The analysis followed 100 novice drivers – 50 male and 50 female – who were prepping for their motor vehicle license test. Researchers found that younger male drivers had a higher skill rating than men in their 20s also preparing for the test. While young women tended to report feeling “less confident” behind the wheel, they’re equal to their male counterparts — perhaps because they are more safety conscious.

The research findings don’t mean that teenagers, who now have to pay the most for car insurance of any age group, are about to start finding better premiums. Teens aged 16 to 20 still have more fatal, injury and property-damaging accidents than any other age group, the study noted. But they do offer clues about which teens make better drivers.

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