(WWJ) Summer brings freedom, open roads and aimless afternoons for teens who are suddenly free from school for three months.
But if your teen will spend any time behind the wheel, there are some sobering statistics: A AAA study shows that teenage drivers are three times more likely than older drivers to be involved in a fatal crash than those over 18 years old.
WWJ Auto Beat Reporter Jeff Gilbert explains that experience matters when it comes to safe driving, but ability to avoid distraction is also key. Distraction is listed as a factor in 60 percent of crashes involving teens.
“That distraction isn’t just phones, it also includes friends in the vehicle,” Gilbert said.
Also notable: 60 percent of teens killed in a crash were not wearing their safety belt.
Consumer Reports recently ranked the best cars for senior drivers and in their report they delved into interesting statistics about youth vs. age in the driving population. Turns out, younger drivers are much more problematic than elderly drivers.
Although there are challenges, including physical and/or cognitive limitations, that may come with old age, senior drivers crash less (per mile) than teens, according to data reviewed by Consumer Reports. And perhaps surprisingly, a CR survey of nationwide drivers revealed that older motorists (ages 75+) were less likely than younger ones (ages 18-29) to report difficulties and errors in the previous six months such as difficulty merging into traffic or changing lanes, driving through a stop sign or red light, accidentally putting the car in reverse instead of drive, or having difficulty adjusting to faster traffic around them.