Teen Driving Deaths Reach Two-Decade Low

Fewer teens are losing their lives in car accidents, research shows.


Fewer teens are losing their lives in car accidents, research shows. If you’ve got a teenager behind the wheel, there’s good news. New research shows that today’s teenage drivers are less likely to be involved in fatal car accidents than at any point over the past 20 years. Statistics from the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety show a 56-percent decrease in the number of drivers age 15 to 19 involved in fatal crashes over the past two decades, from 6,000 in 1994 down to 2,614 in 2013.


Researchers credited increased seatbelt use among teenagers, more strenuous drivers’ license preparation and exam programs and economic factors – namely higher gas prices. While the news certainly is positive, it doesn’t mean that teens are fully in the clear behind the wheel, of course. Teen drivers still have higher crash rates than any other age group. Plus, 27 percent of victims of fatal car crashes involving teen drivers were passengers in those drivers’ cars and 30 percent of those killed were other cars.


“This data confirms that the impact of their crashes extend well beyond the teen who is behind the wheel,” said Peter Kissinger, president and CEO of the Foundation for Traffic Safety. “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.” In fact, teen fatalities rise 43 percent during summer months, according to the AAA. After all, teens are out of school and logging far more miles on the road to hang out with friends.


If your teenager has hit driving age, set and enforce strict safety rules including wearing seatbelts, driving no faster that the speed limit, limiting the number of passengers and nixing distractions like mobile phones and loud music. In the event that your teenager is involved in a car crash caused by another driver’s negligence, get your child medical treatment immediately, even if there are no apparent injuries. That’s because most problematic crash-related issues are soft-tissue injuries that can be seen with the human eye or even with X-rays. Then, contact an experienced auto accident injury attorney with Jacksonville’s Harrell and Harrell at 800-251-1111.