A recent study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety showed that teen drivers between the ages of 16 and 17 were three times more likely than adults to be in fatal car accidents. Researchers chose to release the study recently since the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day marks the deadliest period for teen traffic accidents each year. More than 1,500 people were killed during the past five years in crashes where inexperienced teens were behind the wheel.
Since teens are out of school and on the road more often during the summer months, crash rates are significantly higher. Researchers said that the combination of inexperience and more time spent driving creates a deadly equation. This latest study analyzed all drivers and their crash rates per mile. The study showed that for each mile on the road, teens between the ages of 16 and 17 were:
- Two times more likely than drivers between the ages of 30 and 59 to be involved in a fatal crash.
- Five times more likely than drivers between the ages of 30 and 59 to be in a car accident.
- Six times more likely than drivers over the age of 18 to be involved in a deadly accident.
- Nine times more likely than drivers over the age of 18 to be involved in an auto accident.
In comparison with the previous year’s data, researchers found that the number of teens involved in deadly car accidents increased by more than 10 percent. AAA is urging parents across the country to help reduce these numbers by talking to their teens about risky driving behavior and taking action to limit their time on the road during summer. They are hoping to encourage parents to be good role models of proper driving behavior as well. Researchers said that parents should observe speed limits, avoid using their phones while driving and always wear safety belts to set a good example.
There are several factors that contribute to a higher number of fatal accidents among teens. Distraction is the leading problem and causes about 60 percent of all teen crashes. Talking to other passengers, using a smart phone and trying to eat or drink while driving are common distractions for teens. In 60 percent of fatal accidents involving teens, the young drivers were not wearing safety belts. About 30 percent of fatal teen crashes happened when inexperienced drivers were speeding. Researchers at AAA found that speeding was one of the top mistakes made by teens and reported by their driving instructors while the teens were learning to drive. If parents everywhere take steps to make driving safer for teens, the roads will be safer for everyone.
NY car insurance rates rise significantly for parents that add teen drivers to their policies because of the high rate of severe accidents caused by young drivers. There are discounts that can help, give us a call to discuss.