Details of the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety Report
As the report explains, the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety recently conducted a large-scale study that aimed to determine the common causes of fatal accidents among teenage drivers. What did the survey determine? Over the last five years, “speeding was one of the top mistakes made by teen drivers in fatal crashes across the country.” The report indicated that teenagers have been drivers in around 14,000 deadly collisions during the time period, and of those crashes, about “4,200 involved speeding.” To put that number another way, around 30% of all fatal teen car accidents involved speeding. Yet it is often the other driver or drivers in the crash who suffer the consequences of the teen’s choices.
According to Bill Van Tassel, the manager of Driver Training Operations for AAA, “nearly two-thirds of people injured or killed in a crash involved a teen driver are people other than the teen.” In some cases, the victims are passengers in the teen’s car. In other situations, a driver or passengers in another vehicle may suffer serious or fatal injuries.
Driving Instructors Indicate that Parents Can Be Better Driving Role Models
When AAA conducted its survey, it reached out to driving instructors who have learned more about teen driving behaviors during lessons. The AAA report indicates that about 65% of driving instructors who were surveyed indicated that “parents are not preparing their kids to be good drivers, compared to 10 years ago.” What are today’s parents doing wrong? The driving instructors suggest that teens tend to learn some of the following dangerous driving behaviors by watching their parents:
- Using cell phones behind the wheel; and/or
- Speeding in excess of 15 miles per hour beyond the speed limit.
The fact that teens are seeing their parents talking on handheld cellphones while driving should not come as a huge surprise. Indeed, nearly 80% of drivers who are between the ages of 35 and 55—the age range for parents of current teen drivers—admitted to talking on a cellphone regularly while they were driving. Can parents help to prevent teen driving accidents?
Jennifer Ryan, the AAA Director of State Relations, emphasizes just how important it is for parents to set a good examples for their kids: “Most teens are learning important driving skills from watching their parents and they are picking up bad behaviors along with the good ones.” As such, AAA urges parents with teen drivers not only to teach their children about the serious risks of aggressive and distracted driving, but also to show them what good driving looks like by avoiding aggressive and distracted driving behaviors.
Contact a Car Accident Lawyer in San Diego
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(image courtesy of Anja)