The other day I put up a blog about teen drivers being more distracted than originally thought. The numbers of teen fatal car crashes are on the rise and distraction seems to be the culprit. Distraction, however, does not only come from technology it can come from inside the car! To learn more about distracted driving take our online class.

Teens are new drivers and are more susceptible to distraction. The risk of crashing is significantly elevated for teen drivers who have teenage passengers, particularly male passengers. ( The risk for

16- year-olds are particularly striking, showing a risk of 2.28 for drivers alone and 4.72 for drivers with any passengers, compared with 1.00 for drivers ages 30 to 59, with or without passengers. Additional data presented by McCartt  demonstrates how the presence of multiple passengers seems to magnify the risk of crashes, whether they are caused by driver error, speeding, or alcohol consumption.

   Driver Alone    1 Teen Passenger    2 Teen Passengers    3+ Teen Passengers
   Driver error    72a    82    83    90
   Speeding    30    45    50    59
   Single vehicle    36    51    59    72
   0.08+ blood alcohol level    9    8    10    12

Bruce Simons-Morton offered support for the proposition that male teen passengers have a significantly larger impact on risky driving behaviors than do female passengers, although the reasons for this discrepancy are not clearly understood. Data from a study of teen driver behavior show how drivers with male passengers are likely to increase their speed and leave less distance between their own and other vehicles. Conversely, this same study indicates that the presence of female passengers frequently confers a protective effect for young drivers, both male and female. The death rate in car accidents for male teen drivers is one and half times that of female teenage drivers. They are also more likely to drink, speed and not wear their seat belt compared to their female counterparts.

Crash Facts: The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that 1,875 drivers between the ages of 15 and 20 died in motor vehicle crashes in 2012 (latest data available), down 6 percent from 1,993 in 2011. An additional 184,000 young drivers were injured in 2012.
Drivers age 15 to 20 accounted for 9 percent of all drivers involved in fatal crashes in 2012 and 13 percent of all drivers involved in police-reported crashes. The number of drivers age 15 to 20 involved in fatal crashes totaled 4,283 in 2012, down 46 percent from the 7,937 involved in 2003.
Twenty-eight percent of drivers age 15 to 20 who were killed in motor vehicle crashes in 2012 had been drinking some amount of alcohol; 24 percent were alcohol-impaired, which is defined by a blood alcohol content of 0.08 grams per deciliter or higher.

So when your new driver teen asks to borrow the car make sure that they don’t drive around a bunch of friends, better to be safe than gravely sorry. Stay tuned to this blog spot for more info. As always, DRIVE SAFE!

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