Teen Drivers Most Likely To Kill Passengers And Non-Occupants
June 1, 2015
Teen drivers are most likely to kill their passengers or non-occupants of the vehicle than themselves. This finding is part of a study recently released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study looked at crashes involving at least one teen driver aged 15-19 between 1994 and 2013 and revealed some interesting findings.
The good news from the study is that deaths and injuries in crashes involving teen drivers have decreased steadily over the years. The greatest decrease is among the youngest drivers. When comparing the death rate for teens at its peak in 1999, the number of teen drivers involved in fatal crashes has fallen by 56 percent and the number involved in injury crashes has fallen by 51 percent.
The reasons for this aren’t fully known but experts suggest that stronger Graduated Driver License Laws (GDL) have played a part. The crash rate is higher for 18 and 19 year olds than for younger teens and that may reflect that older teen drivers, out from under the restrictions of GDL laws, may now feel free to take more risks.
The bad news is that teens still crash at a higher rate than older drivers and, more often than not, someone other than the teen driver is most likely to be killed or injured in the crash. Forty percent of people killed and 50 percent of those injured were non-occupants of the teen driver’s car, either occupants of other vehicles or pedestrians and cyclists.
When passengers inside the teen’s vehicle are added, the number of deaths, other than the teen driver, grow to 66 percent and injuries grow to 67 percent. For the teen drivers themselves, the fatality rate is 34 percent and the injury rate is 33 percent.
Read more: Teen Driver Crashes 1994-2013