How and why do teen drivers crash? This is such an important question for teens and parents, as well as researchers, automakers, and other road users, including other vehicles, bicyclists, and pedestrians. By better understanding teen driver crashes, we can design effective strategies to prevent them. Dr. Allison Curry and I co-led a study on teen driver serious crashes and our findings, recently published in Accident Analysis and Prevention, detail the scenarios in which teen drivers most often crash and compared them to adult drivers.
teen crash facts
In a report released today, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) shares its first-ever recommendations for used vehicles to help guide parents of novice teenage drivers. In addition to being thoughtful about the type of car their teens drive, parents also need to consider how their teens get the keys and whether they will be sharing the car with other drivers, including siblings or parents, says Jessica H. Mirman, PhD, a teen driver safety researcher at CIRP@CHOP.
Risk of people dying in teen driver-related crashes is highest in summer months. Dr. Dennis Durbin, a father of three teens, recommends ways for parents to let their teens safely enjoy the freedoms of summer.
Research shows that while a teen is learning to drive and during the first year of independent driving, it takes a parent and teen working together to develop a skilled safe driver. This year’s theme for National Teen Driver Safety Week (October 20-26), ‘It Takes Two: Shared Expectations for Teens and Parents for Driving,' drives home this all important connection. As a traffic injury researcher and parent of three teens, I encourage you to use the ‘It Takes Two’ theme to raise awareness of four risky driving behaviors during NTDSW.
After six hours of behind-the-wheel driver’s ed training and a full year of parent-supervised driving instruction, my daughter, Amanda, earned her probationary license in late August--just in time for school and her senior year. Like many parents, my husband and I tried our best to be supportive throughout her driving journey, but sometimes it wasn’t easy. Too many times we would press down on the imaginary brake when she almost hit a parked car or sped up for no apparent reason in a residential neighborhood and say, “C’mon, pay attention to your driving!” What we didn’t know is that her perceived inattention wasn’t from daydreaming or looking at boys, it was from a lack of knowledge. For Amanda to get it right, we needed to actually teach her how to moderate her speed for various conditions and then practice this skill over and over.
Two Monday evenings ago work and life collided in an eerie way. My daughter, Gabby, was driving me home when all of a sudden a car surged on our left. She slammed on the brakes, but we both understood in that split second we could not avoid the crash. We hit that car with force, and for that one instant, everything was in God's hands. Once panic settled, we were relieved to see that everyone, including the other driver, had survived the crash with no serious injury.
The CIRP team has developed a toolset of the charts and graphs found in Miles to go: Focusing on Risks for Teen Driver Safety, an annual teen driver safety research report that provides a yearly snapshot of teen driver safety for the nation.
Our Colleagues from the George Institute for Global Health in Sydney, Australia recently published a study in JAMA Pediatrics that demonstrates it’s worth it to let your teen sleep in on weekends. Drowsy driving is a common cause of crashes involving teen drivers. Early school start times and after school activities can cut into precious sleep time required by adolescents, who need about 8 ½ to 9 ¼ hours of sleep a night.
While motor vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens, we have made great strides in reducing the number of crashes involving teens behind the wheel. According to a new report released today by CIRP@CHOP and State Farm®, the number of teen driver-related fatalities declined 47 percent in the past six years from a total of 5,889 in 2005 to a total of 3,150 in 2011.
Since this past Sunday, we have lost 15 teenagers in teen driver related crashes in Ohio, Texas and Illinois. I had been preparing a post about the ESPNU Show “E:60” that aired a story Sunday about four members of a high school football team in Manheim, PA that died in a crash in January 2011. The quarterback, Caleb Walton, stepped forward to express his regret that he didn’t do more to stop his friends from making a fatal choice. I hope his courage is not in vain.