What Every Motorist Needs to Know About Teen Drivers
Did you know that teen crash fatalities increase during the summer months? In 2013, approximately 220 teenage drivers and passengers suffered fatal injuries every month of summer. Teen drivers and passenger deaths not only spike during the summertime, but they are up 43 percent compared to the rest of the year, according to an AAA analysis of the government’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System (FARS).
Since we’re still in the “100 deadliest days”—the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day, during which teen crash fatalities typically increase—teen drivers need to be reminded about the importance of safe driving during the summer as well as all year long. All too often, teen drivers lose sight of the fact their actions behind the wheel impact others.
A new AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety report confirms this by revealing that teen drivers regularly have put others at risk. In fact, two-thirds of people killed in crashes involving teenage drivers were others outside a teen’s car. More findings from the study include:
- 66% of people killed in teen crashes are other than teen drivers
- 30% of people killed were occupants in other vehicles
- 27% of people killed were passengers in the teen’s vehicle
- 10% of people killed were bicyclists and pedestrians
- 50% of people injured were drivers or passengers in other vehicles
- 17% of people injured were passengers in the teen driver’s vehicle
- 2% of people injured were bicyclists and pedestrians
The study analyzed crash data from police reports between 1994 and 2013 for accidents involving teen drivers between the ages of 15 to 19. Although AAA reports that overall crash rates involving teen drivers have declined, these statistics are still alarming. In fact, 2,927 people were killed and 371,645 people were injured in accidents involving teen drivers in 2013 alone.
Because teen drivers affect innocent motorists, everyone—including parents and even other teenage passengers—needs to do his or her part to help teenage drivers make the roads safer. Some of the ways to help reduce a teen’s crash risk and increase safety on the road include:
- Parents can learn how to be effective in-car coaches through the online AAA SmartStart program.
- Parents can manage their teens’ driving privileges.
- Parents can lead by example and never text and drive.
- Passengers, friends, and siblings should ask the teen driver to put down his or her phone or volunteer to text on the driver’s behalf.
In order to do your part and help keep the roads safe, please share this article with those you know via Facebook. You never know: one click of a mouse may help save a life.