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Study: Teen Drivers Killed Nearly 3,000 People in 2013

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 2015-05-31 Megan Stewart

Accidents involving teenage drivers are routinely reported in the news, but a study conducted by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety suggests the reality of teen driver accidents is even more grim than we may realize. According to the report, nearly two-thirds of victims hurt or killed in a crash involving a teen driver are people other than the driver. In 2013 alone, 2,927 people were killed and 371,645 people were injured in teen driver accidents.

Police-reported accidents from 1994-2013 were surveyed with drivers aged 15-19 to find out the statistics. AAA's data reveals that 66 percent of people killed in those accidents were people other than the teen behind the wheel, while 67 percent of those who were injured were people other than the driver. Of those victims, nearly half were in another vehicle, with only 17 percent in the teen driver's vehicle. Another 2 percent were not even in a car. That said, the study did find that teen crashes have decreased 51 percent and 56 percent for non-fatal and fatal accidents, respectively, in the last 20 years.

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"Teen crash rates are higher than any other age group, and 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 AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety, in a release.

The study also found that summer months are the most dangerous, as teens are not in school and are more frequently on the road. AAA has dubbed this period between Memorial Day and Labor Day the "100 Deadliest Days." An average of 220 teen drivers and passengers die per summer month in car accidents, which is a 43-percent increase when compared with the rest of the year, according to the government's Fatality Analysis Reporting System in 2013.

Teen driver safety, especially during the summer months, is strongly advocated, and while the stats have gone down over the last 20 years, new technology like smartphones remain one of the biggest causes of accidents, as they distract the driver from the road ahead.

Source: AAA

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