DEARBORN (WWJ) – Nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the teen behind the wheel, according to a new report released by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
In 2013 alone, 371,645 people were injured and 2,927 were killed in crashes that involved a teen driver. The results come just as the “100 Deadliest Days” begin, the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day when teen crash fatalities historically climb.
“Teen crash rates are higher than any other age group, and this data confirms that the impact of their crashes extend well beyond the teen who is behind the wheel,” Peter Kissinger, President and CEO of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, said in a statement. “Since teens drive more during the summer than any other season, this insight is a timely reminder to everyone—drivers, pedestrians and bicyclists— to be mindful when sharing the roads with young drivers.”
The study analyzed data of police-reported crashes of drivers aged 15-19, from 1994-2013 and found that:
•While the overall number of teen crashes are down, the majority of people killed (66%) and injured (67%) in crashes involving a teen driver are people other than the teen themselves
•Nearly 50 percent of those injured were in another vehicle; 17 percent were in the teen driver’s car; and 2 percent were non-motorists (i.e., pedestrian, bicyclist)
•Nearly 30 percent of those killed were in another car, 27 percent were the teen’s passenger and ten percent were non-motorists (i.e., pedestrians, bicyclist)
AAA is promoting the study findings to raise attention among parents of teen drivers and all road users during the “100 Deadliest Days” period. Based on a AAA analysis of the government’s Fatality Analysis Reporting System, in 2013 an average of 220 teen drivers and passengers died in traffic crashes during each of the summer months, a 43 percent increase compared to the rest of the year.
“It takes an entire community to help keep teen drivers safe. It’s the shared responsibility of parents, policy makers, other motorists and obviously the teens themselves,” said Susan Hiltz, Public Affairs Director for AAA Michigan. “Recent tragedies in our community amplify the need to be hyper-vigilant about discussing driving safety with teens right now. The negative consequences of not doing so affect all of us.”
Tools to help parents prepare for the “100 Deadliest Days” of summer driving and other resources to coach teens through the learning-to drive process including a parent-teen driving agreement can be found online at teendriving.aaa.com/MI.