WASHINGTON — While it’s no surprise that new teen drivers get in more accidents than their parents, the situation is more dire than you’d expect, a new study finds. Rookie motorists are three time more likely to be involved in a deadly crash compared to all other age groups.
Researchers at the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety analyzed data pertaining to the crash rate per mile driven for different age demographics, finding that drivers aged 16 to 17 were nine times as likely to be involved in a crash as drivers 18 and older.
In addition, teen drivers were six times as likely as adult drivers to be involved in a fatal crash, although the severity of this statistic decreased when teens were compared to a more senior driving demographic.
Specifically, 16- and 17-year-old drivers were only five times as likely as those aged 30 to 59 to be involved in any kind of crash, and twice as likely to be involved in a deadly accident.
The crash rate of teenagers has only increased in recent years, rising 10 percent last year alone.
It is believed that risky behavior, including speeding, using smartphones, and not fastening seatbelts, has led to this precipitous rise.
The researchers argue that it’s the responsibility of parents to promote good driving behavior in their kids.
“Parents are the front line of defense for keeping our roads safer this summer,” says Jennifer Ryan, AAA’s Director of State Relations, in a press release. “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.”
One specific recommendation the researchers make is setting a parent-teen driving agreement that stipulates the conditions for a minor to drive.
Considering how the deadliest time for teenagers to drive is during the summer, between Memorial Day and Labor Day, now is as good of a time as ever for parents to still safe driving habits in their children.
The study’s findings were published in a report titled Rates of Motor Vehicle Crashes, Injuries, and Deaths in Relation to Driver Age.