Distractions, such as cell phones, and failure to buckle up are main causes

Health.com
June 01, 2017

THURSDAY, June 1, 2017 (HealthDay News) -- Newly minted teen drivers in the United States have almost triple the risk of being involved in a deadly crash than adults, a new study finds.

The study looked at national data, and also found that drivers aged 16 to 17 are almost 4 times more likely than drivers aged 18 and older to be involved in a crash. Compared to drivers aged 30 to 59 years old, new teen drivers are 4.5 times more likely to be involved in a crash, and more than three times as likely to be in a fatal collision.

The findings were released at the start of the "100 Deadliest Days." That's the period between Memorial Day and Labor Day. During that time, the average number of deadly crashes involving teen drivers is 15 percent higher compared to the rest of the year, the study authors said.

Over the past five years, more than 1,600 people were killed in crashes involving inexperienced teen drivers during this deadly period.

The study was released June 1 by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.

This study "found that that inexperience paired with greater exposure on the road could create a deadly combination for teen drivers," David Yang, executive director, said in a foundation news release.

"Statistics show that teen crashes spike during the summer months because teens are out of school and on the road," he said.

Fatal teen crashes are on the rise and increased more than 10 percent between 2014 and 2015, according to National Highway Traffic Safety Administration data.

Three main factors associated with fatal teen crashes are distraction, not buckling up and speeding.

AAA says parents can help reverse this trend by getting more involved and talking to their teens about the dangers of risky driving behaviors.

"Parents are the front line of defense for keeping our roads safer this summer," Jennifer Ryan, AAA director of state relations, said. "It all starts with educating teens about safety on the road and modeling good behavior, like staying off the phone and buckling your safety belt."

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on teen drivers.

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