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Driving Safety — What Car Wreck Risks Do Your Teen Drivers Face?

It’s no secret that teens are more likely to be involved in car wrecks than others, but a new study by the University of Texas helps shed some light on the specifics of those risks.

Federal safety experts took data from nearly 7,000 serious car wrecks across the United States, and a team of researchers from the University of Texas took a detailed look at that data for drivers between the ages of 16 and 20. Their findings were startling.

First, there is a huge difference between a 16 year old driver and a 19 year old driver.  While all drivers between 16 and 20 were more likely to drive aggressively than other drivers, the 16 to 17 year olds were almost twice  more likely to drive aggressively than the the 19-20 year old. 

Additionally, 16 year olds were much more likely to be involved in serious collisions when compared to even 17 and 18 year olds.

Those couple of years of experience and maturity make a big difference in driving safety.

Second, fewer passengers isn’t always better. In an effort to help reduce collisions, many states don’t allow young drivers to have more than one other teenager in the vehicle.  But the study found that one teenage passenger in the car poses a greater risk than two or three teenage passengers. 

Third, the type of vehicle your teens drive makes a difference in whether your teen is likely to be in an accident.  This is bad news for Texas, but drivers of pick-up trucks were twice as likely to be involved in a major accident as drivers of sedans, vans and SUVs.  The safest vehicle?  Teens were less likely to be involved in an accident in the famly van  (no shocker there — who zooms around in a mini-van?), but drivers of SUVs were less likely to be severely injured than were drivers of other cars. 

What to take of this?  If you have teens, these things make a difference in their safety.  Be mindful of how these decisions can affect their safety.


Last night, KXAN ran a news story about the study in this post.  The story is below:

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