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Auto crashes are the number one killer of teenagers.

Each year, auto crashes claim more teenage lives than illness, violent crime, suicides, recreational accidents, and drugs and alcohol.
  • An average of more than 13 teenagers die every day nationwide.
  • Auto crashes are responsible for 1 in 3 deaths of teens ages 15 to 19.

The youngest, and most inexperienced, drivers are most at risk for motor vehicle crashes and fatalities.
 
Crashes involving young drivers are typically single-vehicle crashes, primarily run-off-the-road crashes that involve driver error and/or speeding. Characteristics associated with immaturity--taking chances, testing the limits, and making poor decisions—sometimes lead to risky driving behaviors such as speeding, tailgating and dangerous passing.

At the same time, teenagers’ lack of experience behind the wheel makes it difficult for them to recognize and respond to hazards.

It’s those two ingredients -- immaturity and lack of experience -- that heighten crash risk.

  • The first years a teenager spends driving are extremely risky. In fact, teen drivers have the highest death rates of any group. In 2004 alone, more than 5,610 teenagers died in motor vehicle crashes, and many more were left severely and permanently injured by crashes. This number of fatalities has remained fairly consistent for more than 10 years.
  • Crashes are the leading cause of death for teens, who are four times more likely to die in a car accident than all other age groups combined.
  • Crash rates per mile driven are almost three times as high among 16-year-olds than for 18-and 19-year-olds.
  • The risk of crash involvement per miles driven for 16-19-year-olds is four times the risk for older drivers.

Wearing your seatbelt can mean the difference between life and death in an auto accident.

  • More than 60 percent of teens who died in motor vehicle crashes in 2004 were not wearing safety belts.
  • Seatbelts are designed to work with airbags, not replace them.

Nighttime and weekend driving are especially risky for teens.

  • Forty -percent (40%) of motor vehicle deaths among teenagers in 2004 occurred between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Fifty-four percent (54%) of teenage motor vehicle deaths in 2004 occurred on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

No safety in numbers when it comes to driving. The more passengers a teenager has in his or her car, the higher the risk for a deadly crash.

  • A 16-year-old driver with one passenger is thirty-nine percent (39%) more likely to die in a crash than a single driver. For 17-year-olds, the risk is forty-eight percent (48%).
  • When a 16-year-old picks up two passengers, the risk rises eighty-six percent (86%). For a 17-year-old, it rises 158%.
  • With three or more passengers, a 16-year-old is 182% more likely to have a fatal crash. A17-year-olds’ rate is 207%.

Teenagers are disproportionately represented in the number of motor vehicle fatalities. Teenagers drive less than all but the oldest drivers do, but their numbers of crashes and deaths are disproportionately high.

  • Teenagers account for approximately ten percent (10%) of the U.S. population but are involved in fourteen percent (14%) of motor vehicle deaths, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.
  • An average of 40%- 50% of teen motor vehicle deaths each year are passengers.

Alcohol and driving are a deadly mix.

  • More than twenty-five percent (25%) of drivers under age 21 killed on the roadways have a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. (The legal limit for drivers age 21 and over is typically .08 BAC).
  • Underage drinking is illegal and many graduated drivers licensing laws enforce a zero tolerance policy for underage violators.

Safe Driving Tips:

  • Obey local graduated driver’s licensing laws (laws vary by state).
  • Always wear your seatbelt and insist that your passengers do too.
  • Obey the speed limits.
  • Never fit more people in the car as there are seatbelts.
  • Do not run red lights.
  • Always use turn signals.
  • Keep the radio at a reasonable volume.
  • Do not drink and drive, or ride with those who have.
  • Do not talk on a cell phone while driving.
  • Do not text message while driving.
  • Always focus on driving and don’t be distracted by other passengers.


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Reisinger Insurance Inc.
P.O. Box 116
New Bloomfield, PA 17068
Phone: (717) 582-2321
Fax: (717) 582-2005
email: reisingerins@nmax.net