Teen drivers safer but still dangerous on the road, study says


Deadly traffic collisions involving teen drivers are down, according to a study released Friday by AAA.

But people are still dying when young drivers do crash.

The study looked at crash data between 1998 and 2008 and compared it to a 2006 study that compiled similar data from between 1995 and 2005.

The study found that, nationally, 28,138 people were killed in crashes involving drivers ages 15- to 17-years- old between 1998 and 2008. That’s down from 30,917 deaths involving young drivers between 1995 and 2005.

The agency credited teen driver safety programs for the drop and suggested that continuing and expanding upon those programs would further increase safety on the road for all those who use it.

In the majority of car crashes involving teen drivers, it was other people who were killed, not the teen drivers,” said Matt Skryja, spokesperson for AAA of Northern California.. “This really underscores the link between teen driver safety and the safety of everyone on the road. Parents and teens need to understand the serious responsibility of driving and the risks and consequences involved.”

Statewide, the study found that 1,855 people were killed in crashes involving 15 to 17-year-old drivers between 1998 and 2008.

Of those, 70.8 percent, or 1,313, were either passengers in the vehicle with the teen, occupants of other vehicles operated by adult or non-motorists, among others.

The teen drivers themselves also are at risk, AAA reported, saying 29.2 percent, or 542, of those killed were the young drivers themselves.

Nationally, 28,138 people were killed in crashes involving teen drivers during the same time period.

Of whom, 17,750, or 63.1 percent, of the deaths included other crash victims.

Nearly 37 percent of those killed were teen drivers.

Again, that’s down from the 30,917 people killed in collisions with teen drivers between 1995 and 2005.

Of those deaths, 63.6 percent were other crash victims, while 36.2 percent were teen drivers themselves.

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