Did you know that motor vehicle crashes are the leading cause of death for teenagers in the United States? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, car crashes account for more than one in three deaths in this age group. In 2009, eight teens ages 16 to 19 died every day from motor vehicle injuries; per mile, teen drivers ages 16 to 19 are four times more likely than older drivers to crash. Additionally, more than 350,000 teens were treated in emergency rooms for injuries suffered in car crashes. Young people between the ages of 15-24 represent only 14 percent of the U.S. population, but they account for 30 percent ($19 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among males and 28 percent ($7 billion) of the total costs of motor vehicle injuries among females.
The research on this topic points to a number of reasons why teen drivers are at such high risk, including:
- Teens are less likely than older drivers to accurately assess dangerous situations
- Teens are more likely to speed and tailgate
- Teens (especially boys) are more likely to speed and drive under the influence of drugs and alcohol
- Compared with other age groups, teens have the lowest rate of seat belt use
This crucially important topic is the subject of a new blog developed by GMTMA’s friendly neighbor TMA to the north, Keep Middlesex Moving (KMM). The blog, called “baddriversmakemecrazy,” is focused on young adult driving safety. The bloggess on staff is affectionately nicknamed Car-lotta, and also happens to be a real-life driving teen herself. Her most recent post is about getting back behind a wheel after being on hiatus (college). The blog is targeted to teenagers and young adults, but it’s also valuable for anybody interested in distracted driving. Check it out here: http://baddriversmakemecrazy.com/.