Study Finds Teen Drivers More Likely to Be Involved in Fatal Crashes
October 16th-22nd is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and to raise awareness of the dangers that younger drivers face on the road on a daily basis, Ford announced the results of a study conducted by the Governors Highway Safety Association and financed by a grant from the Ford Motor Company Fund.
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According to the GHSA’s report, entitled “Mission Not Accomplished: Teen Safe Driving, the Next Chapter,” teenage drivers are approximately 1.6 times more likely to be involved in fatal traffic crashes than adults. Further, the number of fatal crashes involving teenagers increased by 10% in 2015.
Additionally, it was found that drivers between the ages of 18-20 are twice as likely as drivers aged 15-17 to be involved in a fatal crash between the hours of midnight and 6am. It was also revealed that blood alcohol content (BAC) is a significant contributing factor to accidents among teenagers; the percentage of drivers killed in crashes who tested for a BAC of 0.08% or higher was 8% for 15-year-olds and 16-year-olds, 18% for 17-year-olds, 19% for 18-year-olds, 24% for 19-year-olds, and 28% for 20-year-olds.
This suggests that, despite the amount of awareness being brought to issues like distracted driving and driving under the influence, there is much work to be done to ensure that teen drivers are actually safer.
Still, there are heartening indications of progress to be found. From 2005-14, the number of fatal crashes involving teenagers declined 56% among drivers aged 15-17 and 44% among drivers aged 18-20.
“This data shows that smart programs, like Driving Skills for Life, that focus on teen driving behavior have been very successful in helping novice and younger drivers be safer on the roads,” said Jim Graham, Global Manager for the Ford Driving Skills for Life program.
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