The number of teenage drivers involved in fatal crashes increased more than 10 percent from the previous year, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) 2015 crash data, the latest data available. Teen drivers ages 16-17 are three times more likely than adults to be involved in a deadly crash, according to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety.
The top three factors that commonly result in deadly crashes for teenage drivers are:
Distraction: Not paying attention to driving plays a role in nearly six out of 10 teen crashes, four times as many as official estimates based on police reports.
Not Buckling Up: In 2015, the latest data available, 60 percent of teen drivers killed in a crash were not wearing a seat belt.
Speeding: Speeding is a factor in nearly 30 percent of fatal crashes involving teen drivers.
To reverse this alarming trend, AAA urges parents to help reduce the number of deadly crashes on the road by getting more involved and talking to their teens about the dangers of risky behavior behind the wheel.
“It all starts with educating teens about safety on the road and modeling good behavior, like staying off the phone and buckling seat belts," said AAA spokesman Chuck Mai.
AAA also said the number of crashes involving teenage drivers jumps during the summer. During a time period referred to as the "100 Deadliest Days" between Memorial Day and Labor Day, deadly teen driver crashes climb 15 percent compared to the rest of the year.